Create More Accessibility On Discord

Create More Accessibility On Discord

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Deanna Harper started this petition to discord and

Accessibility is an important aspect of society that often goes unaddressed, leaving millions of people worldwide neglected. One instance of this lies with a popular social media app titled "Discord". An app originally designed for gamers, Discord is a place of chatting and streaming for over 140 million users, with over 19 million different servers designed for far more than Call Of Duty or Far Cry. However, with a lack of closed captions for their various voice channels, many of these very users are left unable to participate in even the smallest of activities with their friends. 

To fully understand why this is such a big deal, let me explain. For starters, closed captions are an important part of any social media app. Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, even down to Zoom, if it has video and phone call options, closed captions are needed. Members of the Deaf and HOH community are dependent on captions when watching videos or live streams to understand what is being said and by who. With most Discord servers allowing an infinite amount of people to join voice channels at any given time, trying to understand or dissect what one person is saying is borderline impossible, let alone the other 5 to 20 people chatting at once. This being said, captions help more than just the Deaf community. 

Some important statistics on why captioning plays an important part in inclusivity for ALL social media are as follows:

1. The average person spends 11 hours a day connected to media. 6 of these hours are spent watching videos. 

2. On Facebook alone, 85% of all videos are watched without sound. Additionally, 3.83% of all content in the U.S. is viewed with sound off.

4. 41% of all videos are incomprehensible without sound or captions.

5. 80% of people are more likely to finish a video when it has captions.

6. 460 million people worldwide are HOH, meaning captions open the door for 460,000,000 new viewers. 

Not only do these statistics show how often people are on their devices, but how often they're likely voice chatting too. These all should be scary percentages for an app like Discord who has not even attempted to open said door for any viewer. However, they won't take your word for it because Team Discord has openly said they are aware they need closed captioning but will only add "what's in high demand" and even went so far as to compare emoticons to closed captioning. 

Now, being an administrator for a somewhat popular writing server that needs closed captioning and transcripts for many events, I'm both mortified and appalled at the lack of understanding for their users. In my long search for a way to be inclusive to all 9,300 members on our server, none of the options have been very good. Speaking from experience, bad captions are as good as no captions. This is why I'm asking for your help to prove to Discord that captions are both in high demand and needed! 

Furthermore, I don't want them to make Zoom's mistake and have users pay extra money for an Accessibility feature, so I'm also asking that everyone who signs ask for this to be a completely FREE feature. 

 

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