Making Twitter more accessible

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Serving the public conversation means continuously taking steps to make Twitter more accessible – from what we build to the internal programs and policies we implement globally – and this must include people with disabilities. 

Testing voice Tweets earlier this summer made us realize how much work we still need to do as a company, and we made a commitment to make Twitter more inclusive for the disabled community – creating a dedicated team to focus on greater accessibility, tooling, and advocacy across all of our products. 

So what are we doing to accelerate this necessary change?

We’re introducing two new teams we’re building to focus on this work: 1) the Accessibility Center of Excellence and 2) the Experience Accessibility Team, which will focus specifically on the features and products on Twitter. 

  • The Accessibility Center for Excellence will set goals, drive progress, consult and partner with groups across our core business functions to help make aspects of Twitter more accessible. This includes everything from accessibility in our office spaces to our marketing and communications strategies, to legal and policy standards, and more. 
  • The Experience Accessibility Team will work within our product org on new and existing features and products, providing resources and tools that promote greater accessibility on the service. They’ll work in tandem with the Accessibility Center for Excellence to ensure we’re held accountable in identifying and filling accessibility gaps throughout the product development lifecycle.

Beyond staffing our teams, we’re already working to add automated captions to audio and video by early 2021. This lays the foundation for a longer-term roadmap that invests broadly in media accessibility throughout our service. We’ve partnered with external groups and over the coming months we’ll be gathering feedback from people with disabilities via interviews, surveys, and doing remote usability studies of new prototypes. While this is underway, we’ll continue to test related media features. We know we need to do more to make our service accessible and we will – you can follow along on all of our accessibility product updates at @TwitterA11y.

While we’ve outlined new initiatives happening across Accessibility @Twitter, we are continuing to engage with our Tweeps, partners, and people on this important topic. Our business resource groups, like @TwitterAble, remain key voices in our cultural accessibility and product efforts, and we’ll keep hosting public forums like our “Disability in UX” event led by @TwitterA11y

We’re proud of the progress we’ve made to make Twitter more accessible – both as a company and as a service – but we know there’s a lot more work ahead to ensure we’re truly inclusive for people with disabilities. Follow @TwitterAble, @TwitterTogether, and @TwitterA11y for the latest updates to our progress. We’ll keep going #UntilWeAllBelong.

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