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What the heck is that new font? - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #14

What the heck is that new font? - The All-Inclusive Newsletter #14
By Liam O'Dell • Issue #14 • View online
Good evening,
This issue is, once again, infrequent. I had to take time away from social media for a bit and as a result, I haven’t been on top of all things accessibility, social media and tech as much as I’d have liked. As a disabled writer, I did wonder when this newsletter would eventually run out of steam, for however long.
But we’re back, and here’s what in this edition:
  • EXCLUSIVE information about Twitter’s verification process and steps it’s taking to support marginalised voices
  • Twitter’s redesign isn’t really that great for accessibility…
  • Even more Spaces updates
  • My review of one of the newest hearing aids on the market
  • And more!

🗞️ Read A11y 'bout it!
Twitter's new layout and font isn't accessible for a bunch of people
Fleets have been yeeted
Is Signia Active's hearing aids' added subtlety a good thing?
Facebook Messenger's 'soundmojis' are completely unnecessary
Please welcome your (co)hosts...
✅ Disabled activists need just under 100k followers to get verified
There’s been some significant developments in my #VerifyDisabledTwitter campaign recently, which concerns the sheer lack of verified disabled activists on the platform. When Twitter removed its hashtag requirement, activists needed to be either in the top 0.05% for followers or for engagement, but the exact number of followers wasn’t specified - until I revealed that the number for the UK and US was just under 100,000.
Then, I was able to ask a Twitter spokesperson all about verification, with a lot of my questions coming from other disabled activists. You can read Twitter’s answers on my website, and a few other exclusives in my piece for Business Insider [paywalled].
If you aren’t already, you can get involved by following the hashtag.
🗣 #NoVoiceFilter
Twitter it’s become hyper serious over the last few years
👀 & we know people often feel uncomfortable by the sound of their own voice 🗣️giving people fun effects and useful ones might lower the threshold
Part of the reason why today’s newsletter has come out a little later than usual is because Twitter Spaces held their community update Space at 5pm (BST), in which they touched upon a new feature rolling out (it’s currently at 50% of iOS users) which enables accounts to mask their voice through voice effects. If that sounds like an accessibility nightmare to you, then that’s because it is.
While Twitter’s Danny Singh confirmed in the Space earlier today that captions would still work for “some” of the effects (which I’d argue is still insufficient), I’ve already heard from fellow Deaf folks and indeed autistic people who say that it would make a Space completely inaccessible to them - even with captions.
Yes, there’s anonymity benefits (and problems with that in terms of abuse), but please, for the sake of accessibility, please think twice about using the voice effects.
♿️ The UK Government's unconvincing disability strategy
Disability Unit
Today we have published the #NationalDisabilityStrategy 📣

From education, to access to justice, to transport; we want to transform disabled people’s everyday lives – so we can build back better towards a society that works for everyone.

The strategy:
The long-anticipated and much delayed National Disability Strategy was published by the UK Government late last month, and while there’s a lot to dive into with regards to its policies, one stands out to me in particular: a pledge from the Cabinet Office to make its communications accessible.
This, from a department which has released videos of the Prime Minister which aren’t captioned, and was found to have broken equality law on two occasions last year when they failed to provide a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter for scientific data briefings on the coronavirus.
Is it just me that’s a little bit sceptical that they’ll meet that commitment? I explained why I’m doubtful on 5 News and LBC.
👋🏻 See you on 20 August!
The disjointed nature of the past few issues means I’ve got some catching up to do, and so you’ll be getting another newsletter next week before it’s back to the usual fortnightly edition. I’ve also recently found myself with more available following the end of one freelance job, so I’ll be able to put more time into this little project.
Have a good week, and I’ll see you next Friday.
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.
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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