Increasing podcast accessibility is good news for everyone, podcast fans and podcast creators alike. But how do you go about making your podcast accessible? While recent lawsuits have brought attention to providing transcripts for podcasts in order for them to be accessible to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, podcast transcripts are just one part of making your podcast accessible.
Accessibility is important when it comes to creating your podcast as well. If you’re collaborating with others or interviewing guests, make sure the tools, resources, or platforms that you use can accommodate your guest or collaborator’s needs. Some of the accommodations might be:
- Ensuring any space (virtual or in-person) is accessible for all your collaborators and/or guests.
- Ensuring all parties involved are well-informed about expectations, schedules, and content plans. If you’re able to, send any questions, an outline, or agenda ahead of time.
- Ensuring any resources or documents you’ll plan to reference can be accessed by all of your collaborators/guests. This can be as simple as ensuring images have text descriptions or checking if web pages you link to and share with one another are accessible by WCAG standards.
Checking that resources and tools for your collaborators are accessible can make it easier to ensure that your podcast’s web presence is accessible. Making your podcast website accessible also will help your podcast reach a wider audience. If more people are able to find out what your podcast is about, more people are likely to want to tune in. If your podcast has a website, or is featured on a website, consider the following:
- Check if your website is accessible by WCAG standards. (This will be easier if you’re already familiar with WCAG standards to ensure accessibility for your creation process!)
- Check images on your site or affiliated with your podcast and be sure to include alternate text or image descriptions.
- If you’ve created or linked to any infographics be sure to check those images have appropriate contrasting colors to ensure readability.
Ensuring your podcast and the ways in which you create it are accessible also can help ensure that your podcast itself is accessible. After all, if you’ve built accessibility into your podcast’s tools, creation materials, and website, you’re already well on your way towards having accessibility for your audiences. Some other ways to provide accessibility for podcast audiences include:
- Providing captions for any recorded or live-streamed video makes the video more accessible to all audiences.
- Captions for a recording can easily be turned into transcripts, which can viewed and/or downloaded.
At the end of the day, ensuring accessibility is more than a good way to reach more listeners and collaborators, it’s the right thing to do, and easy if you know where to start. A good accessibility provider can help walk you through inclusive solutions such as captions, subtitles, and/or transcripts.