Offer alternatives for auditory information

Sound is a particularly effective way to convey the impact of information, which is why sound design is so important in movies and why the human voice is particularly effective for conveying emotion and significance. However, information conveyed solely through sound is not equally accessible to all learners and is especially inaccessible for learners with hearing disabilities, for learners who need more time to process information, or for learners who have memory difficulties. In addition, listening itself is a complex strategic skill that must be learned. To ensure that all learners have access to learning, options should be available for any information, including emphasis, presented aurally.  

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  • Use text equivalents in the form of captions or automated speech-to-text (voice recognition) for spoken language
  • Provide visual diagrams, charts, notations of music or sound 
  • Provide written transcripts for videos or auditory clips
  • Provide American Sign Language (ASL) for spoken English
  • Use visual analogues to represent emphasis and prosody (e.g., emoticons, symbols, or images)
  • Provide visual or tactile (e.g., vibrations) equivalents for sound effects or alerts 
  • Provide visual and/or emotional description for musical interpretation 
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