Earlier this month, a friend from our local Tech Lunch group gave me the idea of starting a Knowbility podcast. Of course we have our blog, but a podcast would open some other doors and allow us to do some audio demos, interviews, and a host of other fun things. Another great thing about podcasts is that people can listen to them on the go, rather than having to sit at their computers. I always love a challenge and was very excited about the idea!
I set out to find an accessible podcast feed. I looked at several options and many were either very difficult to use or too expensive. Thanks to Knowbility staff member Anneka Griffith, I found Podbean, paid a small fee for the basic year subscription and figured the hardest work was done.
I got to work recording our first episode, which was the easy part. I do a lot of music recording at home, so I have several choices when it came to accessible recording software, microphones and equipment. The episode ended up only being 6 or so minutes long, just basic introductions of Knowbility. Posting it proved to be another challenge, from one computer the file would not upload no matter what I did. The process seemed very straight forward, but it took several attempts before I could get that episode up.
Since we at Knowbility are all about accessibility, it was imparitive that we have transcripts to the podcasts, so that they are accessible to the hearing impaired. Again, I figured this would be a simple process. I had the document ready and had to figure out how to get it up there. I began looking for examples, surely there would be a ton of podcasts out there that provide transcripts? The sad answer to that question is a resounding no. There are only a small hand full that offer this vital accessibility feature! I want to be sure Knowbility is among the few. I decided for now to put the text in the episode description, which will work as long as they are not too lengthy. I’m not sure yet how to link a text file to an episode, though I will continue to learn as I get used to the process. But I can’t help wondering why more people do not have transcripts of their podcasts available. There are several businesses that offer to provide word for word transcriptions, but they cost money. In my opinion, it is such a simple thing and it adds to the number of people you can reach out to, benefiting both the podcaster and listener/reader. Podcast transcriptions should not simply be a recommendation, they should be required in Section 508 guidelines! The entire community of hearing impaired Americans are being left out of the widely spreading world of podcasts!
For right now, you can find our podcast episodes at:
Eventually, I may move it to a different domain, I will keep you all posted on that front. Hopefully, our readers here will also have interest in what we will be offering on the podcast. As always, feel free to comment and discuss your thoughts on our idea of podcasting, as well as the fact that there are so few transcripted podcasts out there. I love generating discussion! Maybe we can start to change access to podcasts, making their part of the web accessible for everyone!