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Silence is golden... and accessible - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #7

Silence is golden... and accessible - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #7
By Liam O'Dell • Issue #8 • View online
Good evening!
It appears as though my one-off email sharing the news about an accessibility workshop I was a part of has now thrown off the issue numbers. This is officially issue #7 (welcome), but Revue would have you believe it’s issue #8… (oops)
At some point I may have to jump ahead to prevent confusion - consider it a leap year but for newsletters, if you like.
While I deal with all that, I give you your latest All-Inclusive Newsletter.
Happy reading!

🗞️ Read A11y 'bout it!
Clubhouse up the audio, but don't add the captions
Disabled people say they feel excluded from the booming audio-only app, Clubhouse
Clubhouse needs funding to introduce more accessibility features
🔇 "You're on mute!"
Liam O'Dell
Interesting developments re muting on Twitter Spaces here (h/t @charlhyde).

It’s certainly good, from a #deaf and neurodivergent perspective, for a host to be able to mute individuals. It means there’s only one person speaking and it reduces concentration fatigue/overwhelm.
There was a point where I naïvely assumed that I would never have to experience a chaotic or hijacked Twitter Space, but I soon realised that I thought wrong. K-pop stans had been given speaker access and decided to blast some audio or a song into the Space, making it a nightmare for me, as a deaf user, to process what was going on. It’s one thing concentrating on one speaker normally in a Twitter Space (especially if automatic captions aren’t available), and it’s another attempting to comprehend what’s being said over the sounds of some loud and distorted pop music.
But deaf and neurodivergent users can, at last, rejoice, as Twitter Spaces has now given hosts the ability to mute select speakers, as well as speakers as a whole, leaving just the host able to speak. It sure is a useful option, eliminating the risk of ‘crosstalk’ which can make conversations difficult. It’s not known, however, if muted speakers will be able to ‘unmute’ themselves, or whether that power lies only with the host.
But in addition to hosts being able to mute for themselves, an ideal scenario would be one where listeners could do the same, perhaps for their own individual experience. Logistically, that’ll probably come with some challenges, but I’d be quite open to the idea of muting the background noise from Speaker A so I can hear Speaker B, without affecting the listening experience for everyone else tuning in.
The team at Twitter previously said that Spaces would launch for all users in April, and yet on the last date of the month, there’s no indication that the feature has been made available to everyone.
Whenever that day comes, it must be accessible to disabled users.
👀 Facebook gives Clubhouse a run for its money
💬 Just a reminder...
Tom Peach 🌈📖
I tweeted something this morning with an image and I thought it had saved my alt-text (it sometimes doesn’t for some reason) and, because I follow @AltTxtReminder, I got a nice helpful DM to alert me.

It’s so useful!!!
I love sharing a good accessibility bot in the All-Inclusive Newsletter, and it’s thanks to Tom Peach that I stumbled upon this one.
While @ImageAltText can be used in reply to a tweet to know if someone else’s post comes with image description(s), there’s a tool out there for reminding you when you don’t add alt text to your images on Twitter.
Simply follow @AltTxtReminder. They’ll follow you back, and then the next time you tweet without adding an image description, you’ll be direct messaged with a reminder.
👋🏻 It's gonna be May - see you on the 14th!
Today’s issue felt a little lighter, but I’m sure there’ll be a lot more to dive into next time, when we’re in May and the big tech companies will no doubt be working on more features.
In the meantime, I’ll be sharing more news and analysis over on my Twitter, @LiamODellUK, and feel free to share this issue with others if you enjoyed it.
For all you folks in the UK, enjoy the bank holiday on Monday!
Have a great weekend,
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.

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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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