Understanding Audio Control

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Intent of 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. Note: Having control of the volume includes being able to reduce its volume to zero.

Playing audio automatically when landing on a page may affect a screen reader user's ability to find the mechanism to stop it because they navigate by listening and automatically started sounds might interfere with that navigation. Therefore, we discourage the practice of automatically starting sounds (especially if they last more than 3 seconds), and encourage that the sound be started by an action initiated by the user after they reach the page, rather than requiring that the sound be stopped by an action of the user after they land on the page.

See also .

Benefits of Audio Control

Examples of Audio Control

Resources for Audio Control

Techniques for Audio Control

Sufficient Techniques for Audio Control

  1. Playing a sound that turns off automatically within three seconds
  2. Providing a control near the top of the Web page that turns off sounds that play automatically
  3. Playing sounds only on user request
  4. Providing a control to turn off sounds that play automatically in Flash
  5. Using screen reader detection to turn off sounds that play automatically

Additional Techniques (Advisory) for Audio Control

Common Failures for Audio Control