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Twitter is exploring automatic and manual transcription for audio tweets

By Nadeem Sarwar June 20, 2020, 12:27 pm

Twitter began testing a new audio tweet feature that allows users to record their voice and then post it, instead of going with text or saved pictures and videos. However, the lack of accessibility inputs for audio tweets, especially transcriptions for people with hearing disabilities, drew a considerable amount of criticism online.

Twitter has now apologized for not keeping accessibility in mind while developing the new feature, and has said it is exploring manual and automatic transcriptions for audio tweets. “We’ve fixed several issues related to vision accessibility, including making voice Tweets identifiable on the timeline and making accessibility improvements to the voice Tweet experience,” the official Twitter Support handle shared.

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Twitter’s Andrew Hayward noted that the company doesn’t have a dedicated accessibility team, so whatever work is done in that direction is by employees volunteering to do so, and they’re not necessarily aware of all the decisions being made. Head of Design and Research at Twitter, Dantley Davis, shared that he will advocate for the accessibility team to be a part of a project from its start.

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