Online audio: how to make your website information accessible
Did you know that 71% of disabled customers with access needs will click away from a website that they find difficult to use?
And did you also know that 1 in 10 adults in the UK now listen to audiobooks?
So, making your information accessible online in audio is vital if you want to reach more customers. It’s a great way to make your website accessible both to disabled customers, and to other people who just prefer to listen to audio, instead of reading.
The advantages of online audio
In summary, with online audio, you reach a lot of customers by making just one easy adjustment.
Instead of spending time and money transcribing your document to multiple formats you can simply embed audio versions of your documents onto your website for everyone to access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No more waiting for a CD to arrive in the post!
Whether it’s your brochure, newsletter, report to customers, policy documents or equality statement – if you want your customers to know about it an audio version will help.
How to make your information accessible in audio online
There are a few important things for you to consider:
Are you going to record the documents yourself? Or get professional help from a company such as A2i? Remember, if you’re going to have a go yourself, there are a number of guidelines to follow, and you’ll need the time and the right software and equipment.
Do you want a person to record your document? Or would you rather have an electronic/synthetic voice? A human voice is more friendly and easier to listen to, but an electronic voice may be quicker and cheaper.
Do you think a website screen reader on our site is sufficient? Unfortunately it probably isn’t – see our previous blog about web screen readers for what to watch out for.
Would an Accessible PDF be more suitable for certain documents?
It’s important to remember, that whilst online audio will be a great facility for huge numbers of people it doesn’t replace other accessible formats entirely. It’s essential to offer information in people’s preferred format on request. So, if someone still wants a Braille, Large Print, E-text or Easy Read version, or even an Audio CD, you should provide that.