Discord. Many people in the blind community have heard of it. Many people in the blind community, at least to my knowledge, consider its accessibility to be... laughable, at best. But let me tell you a story.
In late may I posted to Discord's forums, advocating for the need for increased accessibility. Within a day my post had gotten over forty upvotes from the community.
You can find the post here: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360043674232-Discord-Accessibility-For-Blind-Users-Opening-The-Bags
Shortly thereafter I joined the Discord beta testing program for iOS, and with the help of a sighted individual who was familiar with voiceover, we began compiling a ticket with every single unlabeled element and voiceover focus related issue. A process which is going to continue indefinitely as Discord updates, to ensure that blind users have equal access to the features Discord incorporates into their app.
You can find that here: https://trello.com/c/YV1NDxy8
Now, fast forward three months and very little has been heard about accessibility from Discord at all.
That is, however, until version 3.1.1 dropped to the public four days ago. A relatively minor update for most people except for the fact that in the release notes, this little nugget was included.
"Improved the accessibility labeling around the app to make using VoiceOver easier."
Surprisingly, Discord waited until the actual release to include this. I saw no evidence they were working on it in the beta. However I can confirm that the app is, thanks to these labels, a fair bit easier to use.
Is everything labeled?
Sadly no. Not at this time. However as I have indicated above, with the help of my bug finder partner we are continuing to test features in the beta to ensure that as they are added to Discord they are accessible, and Discord has taken notice of that already. Recently a new user action sheet was introduced in chat windows. An action sheet which has a labeled element voiceover users can use to dismiss it, even though nothing is labeled as such to the naked eye.
So what now?
I am only one blind person, who uses Discord in one way. I am certain that other people use it in different ways. I am certain that you use it differently than I, should you use Discord at all. Which is why I would like to invite you, as a blind person, to help shape the app for others like yourself going forward.
To get started, you will need to join the Discord Testers server, which you can do so by going here: https://discord.gg/discord-testers
To register for the actual iOS beta (works on both iPhone and iPad at present and as well as in iOS 13) go here and follow the instructions: https://dis.gd/testflight
Hope to see you there!
Have questions? I will be monitoring this thread and will respond to any difficulties you may encounter as promptly as I can. Should you wish to find me on Discord though, simply ping Gar.
By Gar, 30 August, 2019
Discord is running well, but 1 caveat
I recently updated to version 3.1.1 of Discord. Its great, now that its accessible. The only caveat is that I can't add a server. When I try to do so, it doesn't do anything. But other than that, Discord is great.
It's sad they don't have a
It's sad they don't have a discord beta for the mac. Te mac client I hear is laughable. Oh, and I'm running the latest version, it's not accessible. And none of the labels are even labeled, at least not on my device.
That's weird. I'm using
That's weird. I'm using discord for the mac and it works just fine. Most things are labeled now. What OS are you using? Have you tried reinstalling the client?
Hi. so I had to create a new account and when I go to verify my email I get a captcha. There is an audio button but when I double tap on it, nothing happens. Eventually I get a message on my phone saying that recaptcha cannot be contacted.
problems that i am facing now
Hello! Thank you for your work! But I have some questions that I cannot figure out. How can I join channels? I try to press on a category for example voice channels, but voiceover jumps to an element on the top and I cannot do anything else. How can I go to the channel? Thank you!!!
switching servers and hopping into voice channels?
Hello! Discord does seem to be a lot less fiddly, and this is wonderful. I hope the good work continues. However, I'm still having a lot of trouble. First, I can't figure out how to get from the main launch screen with DM windows and such to the server list. Then, when I'm in a server, usually by clicking on a notification, I can see the other servers I am in by swiping, but not by touch, and double tapping them does nothing. The same goes for all the channels in any given server, including voice. I'm probably being dumb and missing something right in front of my face, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance!
I have joined the beta program through Discord.
It’s great that the Accessibility is improving. I’ve also sent emails to them about including Accessibility.
How do I find you on Discord? Because I tried to and I didn’t know how to do it.
I also joined the Discord testers group.
Re: You can't add a server?
What method are you trying to use to add the server in question? There are a few different ways.
Re: Switching servers and hopping into voice channels
Switching servers is honestly the most common issue I see blind people having with Discord.
The reason you can find servers sometimes but you can't switch to them has to do with the method you use to navigate the app, which is swiping through rather than feeling by touch.
As has been pointed out, you cannot find servers by touch at times, and the reason for this his because what Discord is, at least on iOS, is many screens superimposed and layered over one another. Unfortunately, voiceover can't tell.
SO to switch servers, and channels, what you need to do is to find an icon labeled "toggle drawer." Tap that, and your list of servers and channels will appear.
On the iPad, due to the much larger screen size, this isn't necessary.
As for voice channels and group calls, unfortunately, those are still sketchy areas. None of the icons on that screen are labeled as of now, however if you check out the Trello link I included in the main forum post you will see that that issue has been documented. So unfortunately, voice channels aren't really usable right now unless you're willing to fiddle around with the elements for a while.
Tracking voiceover related issues
If you have joined the Discord Tester server you have most likely noticed a website being tossed around quite a bit called Trello. Essentially, this is the system that Discord developers use to track bugs. If you wish to do the same here's what you can do.
Download the Trello app from the App Store.
Create an account within the app.
Go to the Trello website: Trello.com
Log into your account then navigate to the link below.
Once you're there, star that board, then navigate to the iOS app.
The board will then appear in the app, which is much more usable than the website... at least on iOS.
Once you've entered the board, tap the filter button and type in voiceover. Then click on any of the cards that pop up and tap the card actions button. There will be a menu item labeled watch that you can activate to be notified whenever someone comments on, or whenever updates are made to, a card.
To add a discord number you
To add a discord number you need to know their discord name and idea so if my idea is blahblahblah12345 you will add that. To do servs you cannot, I repeat, you cannot swipe, don't do it. Think of a split screen intrface . This is the way discord works. Once my partner taught me that, I was pretty much good to go.
If you want to hear a very
If you want to hear a very small demo of the discord app and the state of accessibility here is a quick demo about maybe 16 minutes I length. I also type in some channels and discover some bugs in terms of channel and server management.
I'd love to. But...
"The page you are trying to reach either does not exist or has been removed."
Bleh, ok, go to this link
Bleh, ok, go to this link instead. Sorry about that. I forgot that putting a period or any other form of punctuation anywhere in the code would brake.
To add to that, if it brakes
To add to that, if it brakes again here is the direct link.
Enjoy, or something.
Contacting me on Discord
So I know someone asked about this above, and I meant to reply to it but kept forgetting.
If you want to talk to me on Discord, feel free to search for my username and add me as a friend. My username is Gar"#1865" minus the quotes.
Feel free to ping me in the iOS client chat channel in the Discord Tester server if you run into any issues or if you are unable to search. Just don't say you just want to talk or you might get a warning for using the channel incorrectly or some such.
An Interesting Bug
A Fiu days ago, I encountered with a very interesting bug on discord for IOS. I tapped a notification from the lock screen and the app opened. But all accessibility was gone. No buttons were labeled and voiceover didn't recognize anything. I had to install the app again.
That's odd,that bug I never
That's odd,that bug I never have encountered. I've opened stuff from the notifications before with this new version and it works fine.
Re: Interesting Bug
Yes, I have encountered this as well. Please detail what version of iOS you are running, exact steps you took and what version of Discord you are running.
Alternatively, if you are in the Discord Tester server please record that under ticket 35559.
Re: İnteresting Bug
İOS Version 12.4 and Discord Version 3.1.1. I'm using an İphone 6S.
So, Hear it how is happen:
A notification comes from discord and I double click on it. Discord app opens but nothing is accessible. Voiceover can not recognize any button or label.
This is how it gos.
I never click on discord
I never click on discord notifications, in fact I have all of my servers mutted unless i"m mentioned, so I don't have that issue.
Problems with leaving the server
Hi! I have really lots of problems with the latest beta of discord which is 3.1.9. I cannot leave the server. I cannot just find the way to do that! I tryed tapping and holding the server's name and other things, nothing helped! What can I do?
Click chat, then click the
Click chat, then click the upper thing that should say say drawer. This in version 3.1.8.
when i start the app crashes straight away. not sure what going on?
It's a confirmed bug. They
It's a confirmed bug. They are working on a fix. It has to do sometimes with voiceover and sometimes with gifs.
It indeed has been confirmed, as I also have same problem.
For future Discord bug reports, also send them to
How do I leave a server?
How do I leave a server?
It is practically impossible to use discord on iOs
Hello. It is practically impossible to use discord on iOs. When I join the voice chat room, I cannot quickly go to it and adjust parameters like to switch off the microphone or sound or other things. Also it is impossible to exit settings windows after you entered it. When will it be all fixed? It seems like the discord app is becoming more accessible on windows only. Or are there any workarounds that I don't know about?
Actually voice chatting is
Actually voice chatting is easy. All of the controls are at the bottom of the screen. So do a 4 finger tap at the bottom. You get disconnect, speaker, mic, and one other I can't remember which, but it is very intuitive to use. I'm a part of the beta program, but for now don't join it, it's full, and I'm not leaving lol! Also the back button isuse has ben fixed but if it is not for you if you are not running version 14, tap[ the number of unread messages. Touch the name of the server at the top and flick right twice.
Mac Accessibility is gon
Last week, discord for Mac was updated but all the accessibility features lost. I can not navigate in the app with VoiceOver.
Is it too late?
I would like to join and help with the testing too, please.
Problems with the mac client
Hello. I tried also the client on mac but I can't use it. The content isn't readable by voice over.
Hello! Thank you for your
Hello! Thank you for your reply! I am a member of beta program! Is it possible to quickly enter the voice chat without searching of the voice channel after pressing close actions button? It is possible in discord for windows, but it seems like for iOs I have to search for a voice channel again through the whole list of channels and there is no faster way to go to it. Is that right?
I was told by Discord support
I was told by Discord support that there is an issue with Electron, which is an app they use to help code the mac app. They were very apologetic and said they were doing everything they could to try and fix the issue. But it sounds like unless Electron fixes things on their end, the devs really can't do anything. In the meantime, the discord web app is still accessible if you want to try using that.
The Windows desktop client
The Windows desktop client also had an annoying bug pop up around the same time as the Mac desktop client. On Windows, any channels that are not visible to a sighted person are also not visible to the screen reader. The Mac client became literally useless. Cmd+k still works and Voiceover still sees text fields so I can send messages but as far as it can tell, nothing else exists. This is extremely annoying and disappointing, seeing as the company was seemingly making an effort to improve accessibility. Looks like we're extremely low on the priority list. I'll refrain from making jokes alluding to the company's past scandals just this once.
Accessibility Focus Group
If you would like to be considered for admittance into a Discord server specifically for the discussion and reporting of accessibility related issues with dedicated staff on hand, please fill out this form:
Note that a response to your survey will most likely not be immediate, as folks are being added in small groups as needed. So don't be surprised and don't take it personally if someone in this forum is added while you weren't.
Thanks for linking that. I may as well try and help them out instead of just sitting here and being grumpy about it. I did have to get sighted help to copy my user ID though. I think it might be doable alone on mobile.
the ios version doesn't seem
the ios version doesn't seem very accessible, I have managed to add myself to several servers, but i'm unable to actually select individual channels on the server, I tap the channel names but nothing happens when I tap on any of them, any solutions would be welcome. I certainly don't think the ios version can be considered very accessible at this stage.
I like the app, I find it to
I like the app, I find it to be relatively accessible, except for a few things, I have no idea how to add reactions, when I triple tap on a message, the little pop-up menu comes up, but none of the reactions are properly labeled, however, whenever somebody in a server puts up a reaction, that is red. Also, I tend to find that it will crash once I quote a message, it just freezes and then I have to close it and reopen it. Does anybody have any suggestions? I don't quite know who to contact about this.
Discord for iOS will be worked on
Hello folks. Just wanted to let everyone know that from my understanding, Windows is going to take a backseat for a little while. The accessibility team at Discord is going to spend the next few weeks working on the accessibility of the iOS app. If you have any troubles, hit me up on Discord via @Gar#1865. Let me know what you're running into and I'll see if I can reproduce it/help you get around it/inform the devs.
I just tried the Windows version and the accessibility is so poor with NVDA that even using the tab key doesn't work consistently. Because the signup screen used some custom widget for entering a birthdate I decided to try the web-based version. No luck. Seems to be the exact same interface as the Windows native app. Finally, decided to download the iOS app and I got much further there but it's still a bit clunky.
I see that they're listening and that folks here are contributing to making the platform more accessible, but in reading these posts, it sounds like a constant game of cat and mouse. Accessibility issues get partially fixed for the current version. They release a new version. New version brings new accessibility problems. Those issues get identified and patched up, and so on. What this tells me is that accessibility and inclusion are not a core part of their development philosophy. It sounds like it remains an afterthought rather than a guiding principle. I don't think I'll be wasting any more time trying to use this clunky software until they fundamentally make accessibility part of the product rather than something they tack on after people complain.
I can’t sign in
I have a account with the website and I am getting a error message telling me that my server was blocking me.
Or do I have to register for a new account instead?
Please help, I want to use this app.
right clicking in windows web interface
I'm using a bootcamped Mac with Windows. In the web interface, if you want to mute a user, it seems like there is no keyboard command; you have to use the mouse. I tried creating a right-click keystroke in jaws, but it just activated right click in Chrome, not in Discord. What I eventually had to do was mess with my trackpad settings in Bootcamp so that a single finger click on the touchpad became a secondary click (which I guess is the same as a right click). This did land up working, but it would be great if there would be a way to click on this menu with the keyboard. Who can I report this to?
Focus on the user in the channel list and press shift+f10 to open the context menu. Right-clicking with jaws emulates a right click at the current location of the mouse cursor, not the PC cursor. Full size keyboards have an applications key to the left of right control, but laptops rarely have it.
it didn't work
I tried shift f10 and it brought up the chrome menu.
Perhaps it might be some…
Thank you Gar!
I just tried adding you as a friend on Discord, but it didn't work for who knows what reason. However, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you! I tried working with Discord back in 2018 with no luck. There is a class on Lord of the Rings which is put out through the Mythgard Academy. You can access it in several ways, but most of the participants hang out on Discord. So three others and I were as frustrated as can be until I decided to see if any improvements had been made early this year. Thanks to you, your sighted partner and others, I'm at least able to listen and comment, though I need to use a regular computer to be on two channels at once. I do wish there were a way to listen to two channels at once on the iPhone and to keep better track of other people's comments, especially when they are responding to something I have said, but with the amount of comment traffic that goes through during this class, it might be a blessing that I can't.\Anyway, thank you again and again for your work and your advocacy!
So is it better yet?
Not much activity on this thread for a while. Did they make this product accessible or what?
I uses it every week to play D&D on both Mac and iPhone. There are issues, for example reading back conversation from chat areas is a bit laborious, but they're working hard on it and seem to be listening to feedback. Give it a crack.
agreed. just give it a…
agreed. just give it a second chance. There are beta builds fixing most issues reported.