Twitter continued to respond to the accessibility concerns that were raised following its test of voice tweets in June, revealing last week that it was forming two new teams to focus on related issues.
Vice president of people experience and head of inclusion and diversity Dalana Brand and product lead Kayvon Beykpour said in a blog post last week that the Accessibility Center of Excellence and the Experience Accessibility Team will focus on ensuring greater accessibility, tooling and advocacy across all Twitter products.
The Accessibility Center for Excellence will set goals, drive progress, consult and partner with groups across the social network’s core business functions, including accessibility in the company’s office spaces, marketing and communications strategies and legal and policy standards.
And the Experience Accessibility Team will work within Twitter’s product team on new and existing features and products, functioning in tandem with the Accessibility Center for Excellence in order to ensure that the company is held accountable in identifying and filling accessibility gaps throughout its product development lifecycle.
Brand and Beykpour wrote, “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.”
Twitter began testing voice tweets with a limited number of iOS users in June, but just two days after the test was introduced, a flurry of apologies for failure to support people who are visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing came in the form of tweets from Beykpour, Twitter Support and a particularly passionate tweetstorm from product designer Maya Patterson.