Are you making sure audio does not play automatically when a page loads?
Why is this important?
Screen reader users rely on the reader’s audio output to consume content and navigate websites or applications. When other audio begins automatically, it can be difficult or impossible for a screen reader user to navigate to a stop button. Audio that starts automatically while trying to listen to screen reader output is very distracting and/or confusing and may interfere with the user’s ability to hear content or navigate the page.
Audio can also interfere with voice recognition software used by people with mobility impairments to control the computer. If audio begins automatically, users that rely on voice recognition software may not be able to control their computer accurately with voice input.
Additionally, most people, including those with cognitive and learning disabilities, as well as English Language Learners (ELL) find that audio content that starts automatically can be very distracting and/or confusing.
Whom does it benefit?
As a person who struggles with maintaining focus, I get distracted when audio plays automatically.
I want have the ability to start audio when I choose to hear it,
so that I can focus on the page content before playing the audio content.
As a person with a sensory disorder,
I want to have the ability to start audio files vs. autoplay
so that I don’t get startled when I land on a new webpage.
As a screen reader user,
I want to only hear my screen reader audio when a webpage loads
so that I don’t get confused by other audio that automatically plays when a webpage loads.
What should you do?
- Do not have the audio play automatically.
- In addition, make audio controls easy to find and use for those who rely on assistive technology.
How do you do it?
- Remove functionality that starts audio automatically when a new page or application loads.
- Label audio controls and ensure they are keyboard accessible.
Need technical guidance?
Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 1.4.2: Audio Control page.
Additional resources to help you