Time-based media: audio only
This page deals with one half of criterion 1.2.1 and is all about audio content. The criterion states:
Prerecorded audio-only: An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded audio-only content.
So what is prerecorded audio-only content? Well the immediate things that spring to mind are:
- Recordings of sounds in the environment, e.g. bird song, waves crashing, engines
- Recordings of a speech or presentation (but with no accompanying video.
Identifying audio-only might be the easy bit. The next question is: what are the alternatives?
Probably the best alternative is a text transcript. For audio-only content, captions are tricky to produce and are still not accessible for all. For example deafblind people cannot read them with their Braille transcriber. A text transcript can be read by almost all assistive technologies.
How do I create audio-only?
I don't often use audio-only, as I prefer video. However, for the purpose of being helpful here, I will produce an audio file. There are several audio recorders available. Some are free and others are paid for. Because I have Adobe Creative Cloud, I have access to Audition, and I prefer that. I will use a headset with a microphone, so that background sounds are largely eliminated, and I will start by creating my script.
To me, it makes sense to create my script in the same format as I intend to produce the transcript. That's because they are essentially the same thing. I will write my script (in html) and then read it, record it and upload it.
Audio - What to tell children about assistance dogs
This was the first thing I thought about that I can talk about without too much planning. It might also be helpful to someone.
Transcripts should be easy to find. That's why I put mine before the audio, rather than after. They should also be able to be viewed without having to listen to the audio at the same time. Part of that is because users may prefer to access the transcript with their screen reader and/or a Braille transcriber, but they might also be somewhere where they have to be quiet.
Transcripts are best in a format such as html, but a text file such as a Word document is okay. Only use PDF if you know it is accessible. PDFs are notoriously difficult!