Podcasting is definitely taking off in popularity. The more specific type of podcast you listen to, the more likely you will listen to more of them. This applies to all people from various walks of life. However, if you have a disability, it may be difficult for you to get your hands on some podcasts easily.
This is where accessiBe comes in – acting as an artificial intelligence (AI) service that can create complete accessibility for any website. Michael Hingson, former national ambassador for the ‘Brail’ Literacy Campaign and chief vision officer at accessiBe, discusses how his company works with podcasters to make their content more accessible for people with disabilities.
Hingson details the problems with accessibility online, citing the fact that 380 new websites are created every minute, and programmers that make websites more accessible can’t keep up. As a result, we need a “scalable solution,” Hingson says.
The first main change that podcasters using accessiBe will see is that the information they already have is the same on their website as on their podcast. This makes it easier for them to move forward.
The next improvement will be in terms of captions. Hingson defines this as “the ability to hear something that’s happened at the same time when you were reading it.”
“That takes an extra step,” he says.
“It will be easier for people to discover your podcast because the accessiBe dashboard will make it easier for you to add in all of the metadata that’s going to help with search engine optimization, things like image descriptions and alternative formats.”
Hingson is quick to point out that accessibility doesn’t just apply to people with disabilities.
“If you have a new show, if it’s early on in your podcast listenership or even if you have hundreds of thousands of listeners – accessibility is hugely beneficial to everyone,” he says.
Hingson notes that accessibe is working with some popular podcasts to ensure what they offer works for all people, so there is no confusion with audiences or simply a lack of accessibility.
One podcast benefiting from the change is ‘What’s Tech,’ which discusses technology news and innovations daily.
“We are super excited about it because it means people can access all of our content…No matter whether they are actually watching the video or just listening to the audio – they see all of the same things.”
It may not seem like much, but it is to people with disabilities. It means that they can learn about technology news and innovations to keep up with what’s happening in their own lives or around them, which is great for the tech world as a whole.
“We are trying to make your content available to everyone. I believe that would be the internet’s highest calling.”
In closing, Hingson said: “If we all improve accessibility and make it for everyone, it will be much easier to learn about everything going on. Inclusiveness is not just the law; it’s also good practice for things like SEO and rankings.