Understanding WCAG 2.0: 1.4.2 – Audio Control

The third standard we’ll explore in our series on understanding WCAG 2.0 is 1.4.2, Audio Control. This standard is required for WCAG level A compliance, which is part of the level AA compliance that Section 508 requires. Here’s the complete text:

1.4.2 Audio Control: If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism is available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level. (Level A)

I wasn’t able to think of a place this applies on a Lane website, but I wanted to be sure to mention it. The only place we usually have audio play is on pages with video, and the embed options we have available on Lane pages make it difficult, if not impossible, for audio to play automatically. If you’re building pages for your class, or are doing some web development as part of IT, please be alert to this guideline.

Of course, I’m also of the personal opinion that we don’t want your site reminding everyone of mid 2000’s mySpace profile pages. You know the ones. You’d land on it to find a crazy, mismatched background and Nickelback playing with no way to make it stop. You couldn’t close the browser fast enough. Let’s not bring those days back.

If you’d like to read more about audio control, you may also be interested in this list of techniques, which provides examples and more detail.

Interested in more? Check out the listing of all the posts in this series.

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