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16 months and counting... - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #13

16 months and counting... - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #13
By Liam O'Dell • Issue #13 • View online
Good evening,
I owe you an apology. It’s been a month since a newsletter landed in your inbox and if I’m honest, that was because I completely burned myself out (and also, a fortnight ago was a quiet time for accessibility news), but worry not, I’m back, and this issue of The All-Inclusive Newsletter is a BUMPER edition!
Keep scrolling for news about:
  • What Twitter may introduce to encourage more people to add alt text
  • My #VerifyDisabledTwitter campaign
  • Twitter Spaces’ solution to everyone talking over each other
And more!

🗞️ Read A11y 'bout it!
A fleeting feature
Slack's venturing into the world of social audio now too
Kellogg’s looks to roll out codes on their boxes to help blind and visually impaired people
Tech companies: focus on fixing the infrastructure, not disabilities
After 16 months, Clubhouse is out of beta and *still* without captions
✅ #VerifyDisabledTwitter Update
If you missed it, I set up a campaign looking at the disproportionate impact Twitter’s revamped verification policy is having on disabled activists and journalists. As it stands, more than 100+ disabled campaigners have had their initial request to be verified rejected by the platform.
Since I first started compiling that list, I was verified myself (on my second attempt), along with a few other disabled activists, but there’s still plenty more who are still waiting for their well-deserved blue tick. Twitter also rolled out a demographic survey to look out for any intended bias, and then later changed its requirements under the ‘activist’ category so that only those who have a following or mentions in the top 0.05% for their geographic region can apply. Before this change, accounts could demonstrate that they have created a popular ‘hashtag movement’ as proof of on-platform notability.
I’m awaiting news about whether they’re able to disclose the exact threshold which accounts need to meet, and Twitter’s declined to give me preliminary results from its demographic survey.
Twitter has also responded to the #VerifyDisabledTwitter campaign since the last newsletter, too:
“We’re committed to ensuring our Verification process is inclusive, fair, and equitable and we strive to be consistent in how we’re assessing Verification applications. 
“We will review all applications equally based on our policy criteria. We hear your feedback that the process seems unfair and that we need to provide more clarity on why applications may get rejected,“ - Twitter spokesperson.
You can follow the campaign, if you aren’t already, over on Twitter.
✋🏻 Hands up to speak up
Jane Manchun Wong
Twitter is working on Hand Raise ✋ emoji reaction for @TwitterSpaces which stays on as long as it’s turned on https://t.co/e07NCgjhGe
[ALT: A Twitter Space where a new ‘raise hand’ emoji reaction is shown at the bottom (alongside the original emojis of ‘100’, ‘raised fist’, ‘peace sign’, ‘wave’ and ‘tears of joy/laughter’) and selected. At the top of the Space, Jane’s avatar has a small raised hand on it.]
Something I’ve flagged to the Twitter Spaces’ team for a while now is the idea of having a ‘raise hand’ feature, similar to what you get on Zoom. It reduces cross-talk and helps to generate a more formal structure to speaking in a group discussion, which is not only a massive help to Deaf people like me (as there’s a reduction in concentration fatigue), but to neurodivergent folks as well, who find a cacophony of sound overwhelming.
Good move, Twitter.
🗣 At last, Voice Tweets have captions
Twitter Accessibility
We have news! Starting today, when you create a Voice Tweet (only available on iOS for now), auto captions will be generated in supported languages.

Access captions from the CC button on Web & mobile device Accessibility settings.

Try it out. How’d it go? https://t.co/U2g3V1oeUA
Does anyone still use Voice Tweets? I don’t know. I can’t help but feel like those looking to have longer conversations on Twitter using their voice can just do so in a Twitter Space where there aren’t any limitations on recording. Nevertheless, just over a year since they were first rolled out, Twitter has introduced automatic captions to voice tweets - y'know, the thing we’ve been asking for since the very beginning
Don’t get me wrong, it’s welcome news, but why has it been introduced this late, when Spaces were already trialling automatic captions towards the end of last year? Surely captions could have been provided for Voice Tweets at the same time, using the same technology?
Nevertheless, it’s here now, and one automatic captions are established across all Twitter media as the baseline, creators have to be given the option to edit these or replace them with manual captions.
❗️Twitter's considering warning you when you're sharing inaccessible images
Andrew Hayward
Asking for a friend - would you find something like this useful?

(NB: just a concept, not final, usual caveats, etc...) https://t.co/busNVNVl9K
There is, at present, no way of knowing whether another user has added alt text to their content without opening up Inspect Element or tagging in a bot (provided the user hasn’t blocked them, that is), but an early design for a potential, in-app solution has been drafted up by Twitter’s Andrew Hayward.
It appears to be a tool, turned on by the user, which reminds you when you’re about to retweet or quote tweet “undescribed media” - a useful feature if, like me, you make a habit to only share content (either by yourself or others) that come with image descriptions.
Hayward has since confirmed that they’re investigating a reminder like this for composing tweets too, but in the meantime, you can ask the @AltTextReminder bot to do that for you.
👋🏻 See you on 6 August!
I promise I’ll be back to the regular routine now, and will at least let you know if I plan to step back for a fortnight, but right now, it’s fall steam ahead onto Issue #14, landing in your inbox next month.
As always, if you enjoy what I do here and fancy leaving a tip, you can do so over on my CashApp. Reply to this email or forward it on to others if you enjoyed it, and follow me over on Twitter to continue the conversation.
Until next time, enjoy the sunshine!
Liam
Did you enjoy this issue?
Liam O'Dell

I'm writing my first book, and I want you to follow my journey, but also motivate me to put words on a page.

Formerly 'The All-Inclusive Newsletter', this newsletter will share updates as I begin to compile my debut, but will also be a way for me to reach out with ways you can be involved, and support the work I'm doing.

Sign up to The Book Accountability Project for updates on my writing progress when I have them.
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Hi, I'm Liam. I'm a Deaf and disabled journalist and campaigner who is now writing my first non-fiction book, and needs people to hold me accountable.

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