Twitter apologises for no disability support on voice tweets
Twitter Inc. has apologized for testing a new voice feature without support for users who are visually or hearing impaired, saying in a tweet that they are working on updates to remedy the issues.
“We're sorry about testing voice Tweets without support for people who are visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing. It was a miss to introduce this experiment without this support,” Twitter said in a thread from its official support account. “Accessibility should not be an afterthought.”
The social media giant said it fixed multiple issues for the visually impaired, such as making the voice tweets identifiable on users' feed and improving accessibility. These updates will be available in a coming release on Apple Inc.'s iOS platform. Twitter also said it is looking into ideas for manual and auto transcriptions to support users who are hard of hearing.
Disability advocates have said that as everyday life increasingly moves online to smartphones and tablets, people with visual, hearing and other impairments are feeling more left out than ever before. Companies are starting to focus on this, with Alphabet Inc.'s Google recently adding wheelchair accessibility information to its Maps application.
Twitter's apology also comes at a time when global companies and brands are grappling with diversity and inclusion issues in the wake of protests over systemic racism in several countries.
Twitter said it is looking to build a dedicated group to focus on accessibility and advocacy for all its products. Head of Design and Research Dantley Davis said in a tweet that the social media company must improve its product development “to make accessibility a core part of how we work.”