Petition: Telegram should be accessible for visually impaired

Accessibility Advocacy
Hello, can you help to share this and, I hope, sign the petition? We must try to change this situation, We want to stop what we believe to be a “discrimination”, given the social impact of this app. And who knows, maybe if enough people will sign this petition Telegram’s developers could change their mind on their products’ accessibility! Perhaps they’ll start giving people with disabilities their right to use this app as well!



Submitted by Paul on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

As much as I would like to see this succeed, I believe the chance is low. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), the Telegram API and protocol details are available to third party developers, and since the Telegram developers don't appear to be trying to make money, they have no incentive to add accessibility if they don't want to. Trying to shame them into adding accessibility with a petition seems to me like trying to fight off a large wild animal with a fly swatter. You might cause them some mild annoyance, if they notice you at all, but ultimately you'll probably have no effect on what they do. I honestly believe effort would be better put into trying to find a blind friendly developer willing to make a client for blind users. I will sign and share the petition just because it's worth a try, but I have serious doubts about whether it will actually succeed.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I agree with what the previous poster said. Turns out the potision will not be successful, but again, the develepers of the app will not make their app accessible. It's too bad. aw well, as they always say, "all ends well it ends well."

Submitted by Simone Dal Maso on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I agree with all 2 comments above.
Anyway we decide to launch this petition because it is important that people know about this problem. And, if we for example reach 200 signatures obviously nothing will change.
But, suppose we arrive to 15000 or 20000 signatures.
In that case we are talking about other, because speaking in marketing terms, Telegram could have some problems on this situation.
So, there is also the opportunity that some blind people or other companies start to develop something accessible, since there is a good number of people interested on this.
Sorry for the English that in this message is really terrible!

Submitted by Joseph on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's all well and good to do something like this, but wouldn't it be easier to, you know, write to the devs, explain the situation and askthem to make the app/API accessible that way? These things never end up working in the first place.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Unfortunately, a whole lot of developers have the wrong idea about adding accessibility features to an app. They look at as something to add on after the app has already been released and has gone live, and lots of times some of them won't even do that. Accessibility should be included in an apps initial design right from the very beginning. Apple makes the process farely easy, but the problem is there are so many programming languages out there, and not all of them have accessibility built in. I truly believe that we also need to contact the creators of these engines and programming languages, and make them aware that accessibility is important. People with disabilities might be a small group, but doesn't it make sense to open up the app to as many people as is humanly possible? Also, remember most folks aren't using these accessibility features like we are. it's easy to forget that. I can't tell you the number of times I've been in an Uber and the driver marvels at the fact that my iPhone talks. They always ask if it's a special iPhone and I always delight in telling them that their phone can do exactly the same thing mine can. I've blown a number of minds with that. The point is, these developers aren't living with these accessibility features, in other words when creating an app, they're not using VoiceOver when doing so. I've encouraged a number of developers to actually do that, and the few I've spoken to who have done it all tell me what an interesting experience it is. So, we have to understand how the developer sees things, and act accordingly. We'll convince some folks to do it, and others just aren't going to do so, not without some convincing.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Hi. Please keep in mind that these developers aren't using accessibility software like we are on a daily basis, so some of them may not even know it exists. They also make the mistake of thinking that adding support for VoiceOver is a feature of the app, when it should really be in the design process from the get-go. They'll often-times use the term "roadmap" which helps them to determine what's important in the app design and what's not, and VoiceOver should be right up at the top, but lots of times it isn't. I think I've heard the rresponse "sorry, that's not on our roadmap" more times than I can count. I always politely remind them that there's a whole market of users that they're missing out on, we may be small but when we find an app we like we're extremely loyal, and we tell everyone we know about it. So it's a shame that telegram is missing out.

Submitted by Paul on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Joseph, multiple people have brought the lack of accessibility to the attention of the developers of Telegram, and as far as I know they have been completely unresponsive. In fact, I mentioned them on Twitter (and they do appear to respond to mentions) letting them know their iOS app was inaccessible, and they didn't even bother to respond, even to say they had no plans to implement accessibility. Either they just get way too many mentions, or they just don't give a hoot. They're @Telegram on Twitter if anyone wants to try get their attention that way.

Submitted by Simone Dal Maso on Wednesday, March 1, 2017

we arrived to 300 signatures just 10 minutes ago.
I didn't know that, for example, in Iran, Telegram is the most used app, not only by individuals, but also from schools and government agencies.
Obviously we want to contact developers of Telegram, but the comments you can find in the community section of the petition give a good idea of the importance that this concept of accessibility can have.

Submitted by René Jaun on Sunday, August 5, 2018

I know, this is an old one.
BUt I was really pleasantly surprised to notice that this petition has grown to nearly 2.5k signatures by now.
I gave them another mention on Twitter.
If anyone else feels like chiming in once more...