1.4.2 - Audio control

Individuals who use screen reading software can find it hard to hear the speech output if there is other audio playing at the same time. This difficulty is exacerbated when the screen reader's speech output is software based (as most are today) and is controlled via the same volume control as the sound. Therefore, it is important that the user be able to turn off the background sound.

Ways to meet the criterion

Any audio that automatically start on page load interferes with screen reader users being able to hear their reading software. Ensure that audio only plays on user request i.e. selecting a link to hear an audio file.

If audio plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, ensure that there is a mechanism in place to either:

  • control volume independently of the overall system volume level
  • stop
  • pause

Supported general and HTML techniques to meet the criterion: