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A Podcaster’s Guide to Content Accessibility—and How AI Can Help You Achieve It

June 11, 2024 Deciphr AI
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IN A GIST

In the fast-growing realm of digital media, where ideas and information are as abundant as the stars, it is easy to forget that not everyone has an equal vantage point. 

Content accessibility, a principle often shrouded in the shadow of technical jargon, is—in reality—the noble pursuit of equality in this digital landscape.

At its core, it reflects a commitment to ensure that all individuals, particularly persons with disabilities (PWDs), have an unobstructed view of the digital world.

For some, accessibility is a fleeting thought—for PWDs, it is the passport to unrestricted participation in everything on the web. In this article, we're diving into:

  • What content accessibility is
  • Why it's important for your podcast
  • AI-assisted vs. manual efforts to achieve it
  • Step-by-step guide to make your podcast more accessible
  • Benefits to PWDs

MAIN ARTICLE

What Does It Mean to Have Content Accessibility?

Simply put, content accessibility addresses a broad spectrum of considerations. 

Text-based content, for instance, is only one facet. 

To be truly accessible in this context, content should be easily consumable by screen readers—which is done by translating written text into spoken words for visually impaired individuals. Alternatively, subtitles, transcripts, and descriptive audio are also vital components of accessibility, allowing the deaf or hard of hearing to engage with audio and video content.

But, content accessibility is not just about catering to sensory impairments. 

Cognitive disabilities—often overlooked in the discourse—are equally critical. 

For instance, using clear and simple language, providing definitions for complex terms, or breaking down information into manageable chunks can make a world of difference for individuals with learning disabilities or attention disorders.

With the advent of virtual and augmented reality, accessibility challenges multiply—but so do the opportunities for innovative solutions. Yet the guiding principle remains the same: accessibility is not an optional extra, but a fundamental aspect of content creation. 

Why is Content Accessibility Important?

From a podcaster's perspective, embracing content accessibility is not just an act of inclusivity—it's a sound business strategy.

Approximately 15% of the global population experience some form of disability, which means that, podcasters risk alienating a significant proportion of potential listeners by neglecting the need to make their content PWD-friendly.

But it's more than just numbers. 

Podcasting is a deeply personal medium—and each listener forms a unique relationship with the host and the content. By ensuring accessibility, podcasters enrich their community, inviting a diverse range of experiences and perspectives that can only enhance the conversation.

On top of elevating substance, many of the measures that enhance accessibility—like transcripts and show notes—also increase a podcast's SEO visibility. These text-based resources are more easily indexed by search engines than audio content, making the podcast easier to discover. In this way, prioritizing accessibility can boost a podcast's visibility, attracting a broader audience.

How do AI tools impact content accessibility? Why use AI vs do it manually?

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative partner in the journey to widespread content accessibility. 

Manual transcription and captioning of podcasts, while undoubtedly valuable, is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. AI, with its ability to automate these tasks, offers a compelling alternative. Tools like automatic speech recognition can generate transcripts and captions with impressive speed, allowing podcasters to deliver accessible content with a quicker turnaround.

With accessible AI tools, any podcaster, regardless of their abilities, can create and share widely-accessible content—and this can lead to a more diverse and inclusive podcasting landscape, where every voice has the chance to be heard.

How to use Deciphr to make your content accessible (step-by-step)

Deciphr AI is a unique, AI-powered tool that can analyze and summarize audio and transcripts from podcasts, significantly reducing the time and effort needed for content creators.

Here's a general overview of how Deciphr works based on the information available from the official website:

Upload your file: The first step in the process is to upload your transcript or audio file to Deciphr. It accepts both types of files, giving you flexibility based on your needs.

Deciphr gets to work: Once your file is uploaded, Deciphr's AI starts analyzing your content. It reads through the transcript, listens to the audio, or watches the video you upload to understand the key topics covered in your episode.

Grab your free content: After the analysis, Deciphr provides you with timestamps of all the key topics covered in your episode, along with detailed show notes. This not only helps in making your content more accessible but also provides additional value to your listeners who might want to revisit specific parts of your podcast​​.

With the help of this simple process, you’ll be able to make lighter work of shaping your content up to be accessible.

How Deciphr AI Can Benefit Individuals With Disabilities

In the dynamic landscape of content creation, Deciphr AI emerges as an ally with a potent role in the quest for inclusivity. For podcasters, it can ease the process of achieving PWD-friendliness with every single episode they put out—clearly, an opportunity that’s hard to pass up.

Each of Deciphr AI’s features uniquely enhances accessibility, making it a powerful ally in creating an inclusive digital landscape. 

Let's delve into them for a bit:

  1. Accurate Transcription: Deciphr's robust transcription service transforms audio content into written form. This provides an accessible alternative for those with hearing impairments, ensuring that they don't miss out on the wealth of knowledge shared through podcasts. By providing a textual counterpart to audio content, Deciphr bridges the gap between hearing and deaf communities.

  1. Summary and Show Notes Generation: Deciphr's ability to generate succinct summaries and show notes aids those with cognitive disabilities. By distilling complex narratives into clear, concise notes, it enhances comprehension. This feature ensures that the essence of the content is accessible and easily digestible, irrespective of cognitive ability.

  1. Chapters Generation: By segmenting content into chapters based on different topics, Deciphr improves navigation through audio files. This is especially beneficial for individuals with developmental impairments who struggle with focusing (such as those with ADHD). When paired with screen-reading technology, users can easily skip to sections of interest, just like how sighted individuals skim a written document. This feature ensures a seamless and enjoyable audio experience.

  1. Quotes Generation: The ability to extract key quotes from an uploaded file assists in highlighting the essence of a discussion. This feature is beneficial for all users, but particularly for those with attention deficit disorders, as it allows them to focus on critical points without getting overwhelmed by the volume of content.

  1. Article Generation: By converting audio files into full-length articles, Deciphr caters to different learning preferences, making content more accessible for individuals who prefer reading over listening. This adaptability ensures that the insights shared through podcasts reach a wider, more diverse audience.

  1. Audiogram Generation: Audiograms, or visual representations of audio content, can assist in making content more engaging for individuals with learning disabilities. By pairing visual stimuli with audio content, Deciphr enhances cognitive processing, making it easier for individuals to absorb and retain information.

  1. Video Reel Generation: Video reels can be an inclusive tool for individuals with hearing impairments, particularly if they include captions. By transforming audio content into a visual format, Deciphr ensures that content is accessible across different mediums. This broadens the reach of content and ensures it appeals to a diverse audience.

Deciphr AI's suite of features actively works towards breaking down barriers in content accessibility.

It underscores a fundamental truth - that in the age of digital communication, inclusivity is not just an option; it's a necessity. With tools like Deciphr, we're a step closer to creating a digital landscape where content is truly accessible for all.

Final Words

In the world of content creation, where the podcasting revolution is in full swing, inclusivity and accessibility are no longer just buzzwords—they are imperatives for the future. 

With its suite of features, Deciphr AI is paving the way for this future, ensuring that content is not just heard, but truly accessed and appreciated by all. It underscores the potential of AI in creating a more inclusive digital landscape, where content transcends barriers and resonates with diverse audiences. 

As we stand on the cusp of this more accessible future, AI-powered tools like Deciphr AI offer a glimpse into the boundless possibilities that lie ahead for inclusive podcasting.