1.4.2 Audio Control - ELA Hub

For any audio track or video with audio which starts automatically and lasts longer than three seconds, make sure the learner can pause or stop the audio, or control the volume.

How do I comply?

  • Provide controls which let the learner pause or stop any audio tracks or videos with sound which last longer than three seconds. These could be inbuilt controls provided by your rapid authoring tool, or manual controls which you add to the resource.
  • You can also provide controls which let the learner change the volume (including turning it down to zero). These controls must be independent of the normal audio controls in the system that the learner is using.
  • Make sure that the audio controls which you provide can be controlled by a keyboard as well as a mouse.
  • This standard also recommends that you let the learner start the audio track or video, rather than letting it start automatically.


Learners who benefit from this standard include:

  • People who are blind or partially sighted and use screen readers. They will either be able to stop the audio content or control the volume of the audio content so that it does not interfere with their screen reader output.
  • People who with cognitive impairments and who find it difficult to concentrate on visual content when audio is playing at the same time will benefit from being able to turn down the volume in a video with sound.
  • People who are easily startled or dislike audio starting automatically in their learning content.

eLaHub example

Automatically playing audio

This video demonstrates the problems that someone who is using a screen reader may have if they are not able to stop audio content or control the volume.

How can I test?

Check that you are able to stop, or control the volume for all audio content and videos with sound which start automatically and last longer than three seconds in the eLearning resource. Best practice would also recommend checking that there is no auto playing audio content.

Further information

WCAG information

Guideline1.4 Distinguishable
Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
WCAG link
1.4.2 Audio control (Level A)
WCAG textIf 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.

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