Today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a UN day aimed at promoting understanding of disability issues and mobilizing support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of people with disabilities.
As a leader in audio, we’re particularly interested in making sure audio content is accessible to people with hearing loss or deafness.
2020 marks both 30 years since the passing of The Americans with Disabilities Act and a decade since the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. The latter sets federal rules for streaming video, mobile browsers, and teleconferencing software, mostly enforced by the FCC.
Listen to Radio survivor podcast about Deaf Accessibility for Podcasts & Radio
What about podcast accessibility?
This regulation will likely soon apply to podcasts, as it should. As early as 2021, the FCC may pass regulation to ensure that every podcast produced in the US is accessible.
In the meantime, the W3 organization, which has its own (non-binding) web accessibility initiative (WAI), has already drafted the WCAG standard. This document encourages making transcripts for live digital talk media format – videos and talk audio alike, but requires transcripts for pre-recorded audio formats such as podcasts.
But, as every podcaster knows, transcribing podcasts is no easy task.
Human transcription may produce the most accurate results, but it takes at least double the run-time of an episode (90 minutes or more to transcribe a 45-minute podcast) and is priced accordingly.
Automatic transcripts, on the other hand, are fast and efficient. But machines are imperfect and, until recently, their accuracy level was often insufficient.
Listen to Marketplace tech podcast about How the FCC regulates accessibility for new technologies
Leveraging automatic podcast transcription
Here at Audioburst, we’ve been leveraging AI technology to automate podcast transcription for years, transcribing many millions of podcast minutes to date.
For podcasters, Audioburst Creators offers automatic transcription of full episodes. While the results are remarkably accurate, a built-in editor allows editing the transcripts as needed.