3.7 Accessible audio
Audio files can greatly increase the vibrancy of eLearning materials. Of course any audio materials need a text version alongside to make them accessible, but this does not negate the fact that audio can be much more digestible to many learners than on-screen text. A free software program called Audacity [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] can be used very easily to create and edit sound clips (there are dozens of tutorial videos for Audacity on YouTube). Consider adding audio clips as section summaries, revision aids, or as feedback (research suggests audio feedback can aid learner engagement with the feedback process (Cann, 2014)).
If you don’t wish to, or cannot, use your own voice in audio clips, it is possible to use high quality synthesized speech. You can upload a document or provide a URL to the RoboBraille web resource, and it will provide for you a very high quality synthesized audio clip of your resource, in the language you specify (note: longer documents understandably take a longer time to process).
You can also use the RoboBraille site to produce DAISY audio files. DAISY uses the formatting of your document (for example the headings and subheadings you have created using Heading Styles in Word) to create a series of audio files that match the structure of your document, making the audio as readily navigable as the text document it is based upon. This can greatly aid audio users as they can easily skim through headings etc. to find the section they want to access, just as a visual reader would do with a text document.