Who are we leaving out?

Chart showing different types of disability in four modalities. Touch: person with one arm is permanently disabled, a person with is arm in a sling is temporarily disabled, and a new parent holding a baby is situationally disabled.

Accessibility is a critical aspect of podcasting that should be a top priority for podcast creators. Unfortunately, many podcast websites are still inaccessible to users with disabilities, preventing them from accessing and enjoying the content they love. In this post, we will introduce three diverse personas to help readers understand the unique challenges that different people face when accessing podcasts.

We will start by introducing aisha, who is visually impaired, and loves science fiction. Juan, who is deaf, and loves to keep up with the news, and Grace, an older celebrity fan with mobility issues. We will explain how each of these personas face unique challenges when accessing their favorite podcasts, including accessibility issues with the website, audio player controls, and lack of transcripts.

We will then delve into general solutions to these issues. One critical area of focus will be website accessibility. We will discuss the importance of ensuring that websites have proper semantic structure, keyboard accessibility, and sufficient color contrast. We will also highlight the importance of ensuring all images have alt text to assist visually impaired users.

For transcripts, we will discuss the range of possible solutions, from fast and cheap AI transcription tools to more feature-rich solutions like Active Transcripts. We will explain how AI transcription tools can be a great way to quickly create transcripts for podcast episodes, while more feature-rich solutions like Active Transcripts can offer additional benefits like search functionality and synchronized audio playback.

Overall, this post will offer readers a deeper understanding of the accessibility challenges that different users face when trying to access their favorite podcasts. It will also provide practical tips and advice for podcast creators to improve their website accessibility and provide transcripts to improve the overall user experience.