WCAG – 1.4.2 Audio Control (Level A)

1.4.2 Audio Control (A): 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)

Requirements

  • Audio content does not start playing automatically, or stops after 3 seconds or less.
  • Audio that plays automatically and lasts for more than three seconds, can be easily paused and/or stopped.

Why is it important?

  • This ensures that people who listen to content with a screen reader can do so without it being drowned out by the audio.
  • Unexpected audio may also distress users with cognitive or sensory sensitivity.

Summary

  • If any audio content plays automatically for more than three seconds, give people a way to stop it.
  • When audio plays automatically on a page, it should last for less than three seconds or there must be a easy way to pause/stop it.

Common Mistakes

Audio or video plays automatically for more than three seconds, but cannot be paused or stopped by the user.

Design Guide

  • Ideally, avoid audio or video content that plays automatically
  • If you need to play audio or video content automatically, make sure that it lasts less than 3 seconds
  • If you can’t do any of the above, provide a keyboard accessible and clearly-labelled ‘Pause’ button (e.g. ‘Pause video’) at the very beginning of the page/screen.

References

  1. Providing a control near the beginning of the Web page that turns off sounds that play automatically technique in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  2. Accessibility Guidelines- Github.io

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