AUDIO: Make It Stop! Make It Stop!

Too loud sound. Furious young bearded man covering ears with hands and keeping eyes closed while standing against grey background

Got a call from a business owner here on the East Coast, a fellow who sells cement. “Mary, I have a new website, and according to my stats, people come to the site, but don’t stay very long. Can you have a look and let me know if you can tell what the problem is?”


When I visited his website. I was immediately accosted by very patriotic but EXTREMELY LOUD John Philip Sousa marching music blaring through my computer speakers. So loud that my Black Labbie Gracie woke from a deep sleep and started running around my office…barking, barking and barking. The sudden unexpected noise was so shocking I couldn’t hit the browser’s back button fast enough to make it stop!

What a racket!

What does this have to do with accessibility?

Jeepers creepers, people, don’t automatically start any audio when a home page loads. Always give the user the option to listen.

If an audio file a visitor has selected plays longer than 3 seconds, you have to give the user a way to turn it off.

Mr. Cement did not like my suggestion of ditching the loud music. He thought my advice was un-American.



WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos