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JM Podcasting Services

The Way of the Podcaster

S8 E6: Full Inclusion: Visual Content in an Audio World

Visual content plays a pivotal role in capturing the attention of some segment of your audience, conveying your message and fostering engagement. However, when promoting your disability service’s podcast, it’s essential to create visual content that is not only visually appealing but also inclusive and accessible to everyone. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of inclusive visual content and provide practical tips on how to make your podcast promotion more accessible.

Why Inclusive Visual Content Matters:

Inclusivity is about ensuring that your content is accessible and meaningful to a diverse audience, including individuals with disabilities. When it comes to your disability service podcast, inclusive visual content matters for several reasons:

  1. Accessibility: Inclusive visual content ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and engage with your promotional materials.
  2. Wider Reach: Creating accessible content extends your reach to individuals who rely on screen readers, text-to-speech technology, or alternative input devices.
  3. Legal Compliance: In many regions of the world and podcasting ignores most boundaries, there are legal requirements and standards, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, that mandate accessibility for digital content. This applies to providing transcripts which may become a legal requirement both in  the US and other parts of the world in the near future. Apart from the benefits of providing such material for SEO purposes, it’s the right thing to do anyway.
  4. Improved SEO: Adding alt text and other accessibility features to your visual content can boost your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), making it easier for people to find your podcast.

Practical Tips for Creating Inclusive Visual Content:

Now, let’s delve into practical tips for creating inclusive visual content to promote your disability service podcast effectively.

  1. Design with Accessibility in Mind:

When creating visual content, start with accessibility as a fundamental consideration. Ensure that your graphics and images are clear, high-contrast, and free from visual clutter. Use colours that are distinguishable by individuals with colour blindness.

  1. Add Alt Text for Images:

Alt text (alternative text) is a brief, descriptive text description of an image. It’s crucial for individuals who use screen readers to understand the content of images. When creating visual content, include descriptive alt text that conveys the image’s purpose or message. This is relatively easy to do in the WordPress world and I assume with other content management systems.

  1. Provide Transcriptions for Videos:

If you create promotional videos, provide accurate transcriptions for them. Transcriptions not only make your videos accessible to individuals with hearing impairments but also improve your content’s SEO.

  1. Use Captions for Audiogram Videos:

Audiogram videos which include audio waveforms or captions over static images, have become more popular for promoting podcasts on social media. Ensure that your audiogram videos include accurate captions for the spoken content.

  1. Test for Accessibility:

Before publishing visual content, test it for accessibility. Use screen reader software or browser extensions to ensure that alt text, captions and other accessibility features are functioning as intended.

  1. Consider Typography:

Choose clear and readable fonts for text in your visual content. Use appropriate font sizes and spacing to enhance legibility. Avoid decorative fonts that may be difficult for some individuals to decipher. The Australian disability standard requires a sans serif font, think arial or trebuchet and at least 12 point size. I find I’m writing and editing in 13 or 14 point nowadays for ease of legibility.

  1. Create High-Quality Visuals:

Invest in high-quality visuals that are free from distortion and pixelation. High-resolution images and graphics ensure that your content looks professional and remains accessible. While this advice is the gold standard, so to speak, good quality visuals with excellent quality audio is a must. Even high-quality visuals will turn people off if the audio is sub standard.

  1. Offer Text Alternatives:

For charts, graphs, and infographics, provide text-based alternatives. Summarise the information in a format that can be understood without relying on visual cues. The use of alt text discussed previously covers this point too.

  1. Prioritise User Experience:

Ensure that your website and content layout are user-friendly. Navigation should be straightforward and users should be able to easily locate and engage with your visual content.

  1. Consistency Across Platforms:

Maintain consistency in your visual content across different platforms. Use similar branding elements, colour schemes, and design styles to create a cohesive and recognizable identity. Consistency is a thing, simple enough in theory but requiring some effort in reality. It matters and makes a difference, even if only perceived subconsciously. Inconsistency in fonts, palates and audio quality will stand out like a sore thumb.

  1. Educate Your Team:

If you work with a team, educate them on the importance of inclusive visual content and provide training on creating accessible materials. Consistency in approach is, as I’ve noted, the key.

Conclusion:

Creating inclusive visual content is not only an ethical choice but also a strategic one. By ensuring that your promotional materials are accessible to all individuals, you expand your reach and amplify the impact of your service’s podcast. Inclusive design benefits not only those with disabilities but also everyone who engages with your content, creating a more inclusive and welcoming digital environment.

By following these practical tips, you can make your podcast promotion more effective. Remember that inclusivity is an ongoing process, and staying informed about best practices and evolving standards is essential in creating a digital landscape that welcomes everyone, regardless of their abilities. In the end, inclusive visual content is not just about compliance; it’s about making your podcast accessible to a diverse and engaged audience.

The next episode,  number 7 in season 8 is all about community engagement to promote your show!