While I totally understand wanting to express oneself via text-formatting in tweets, unfortunately mathematical characters and special characters donโ€™t come across well to screen reader users.


You ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ it's ๐’ธ๐“Š๐“‰โ„ฏ to ๐˜„๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ your tweets and usernames ๐–™๐–๐–Ž๐–˜ ๐–œ๐–†๐–ž. But have you ๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™š๐™™ to what it ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ with assistive technologies like ๐“ฅ๐“ธ๐“ฒ๐“ฌ๐“ฎ๐“ž๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ป?


ยท ยท Mastodon Twitter Crossposter ยท 8 ยท 44 ยท 23

@Sommer Twitter, and all other social networks, should just have the capacity for users to actually bold/italicize and otherwise format text, instead of using Unicode characters to do so. But they don't. Not even Mastodon.

@Sommer Damn, Voice Over does this pretty well actually. NVDA with eSpeak doesn't even bother, just reading them as things like letter 1 D 6 3 5. Even less useful. ๐Ÿ™

@Sommer hm. search engines and other things already recognize those digits are letters, e.g. Telegram display name search.
Why would TTS not pick that up too?

@Sommer This feels like a bigger problem with parsing in the software. It clearly knows in excruciating detail what each of those letters are; it just doesn't form words with them.

@Sommer Also, it breaks on older Android devices. On my S5 (with Android 6) I only see the boxes of missing unicode characters.

@Sommer If my screen reader takes more than 5 seconds to read your username, I'll skip your tweets! If I'm feeling extra-grumpy, I'll mute you! #a11y #assistivetech

@Sommer It's 2021 and the makers of screen readers can't be arsed to support what's been a common way of writing text for years now.

@tfb @Sommer more like screen reader makers are reading the screen as it is. The fact that those are used mathematical symbols is important information to convey in any usual situation - so what do you propose? Changing the way they are read if reading twitter dot com? How about people talking about math on twitter? Having a setting people have to toggle every time they go into a site where people write in dumb ways? There is no elegent solution. This isn't laziness, this is engineering.

@tfb @Sommer when building anything like this you have to take into account the cases it will be used in and the user experience of it. You can't just say "the makers of screen readers can't be arsed". There is actual decisions and discussions to be had about the best way to handle this.

@nihilazo @Sommer That is an extraordinarily small amount of context to take into consideration. Are these letter spelling out words? Is this isolated letter part of a phrase of words? I have to deal with significantly more difficult context every day. "Can't be arsed" is exactly what it is.

@tfb @Sommer OK, sure. If it is so easy, then fix it. If screen reader developers are clearly just too lazy to do this, you do it, given that you have all the energy and know exactly how! There are plenty of open source ones you could contribute to instead of bitching on mastodon when somebody brings up a legitimate accessibility concern. Just a thought. And if you now say you can't be arsed, then you are just as bad as they are.

@nihilazo @Sommer The companies behind Android, iOS, Mac OS and Windows are huge. They have the resources, and should not be given a pass on this. It is an accessibility problem.

Secondly, criticizing a situation or a developer is legitimate. It is not therefore incumbent upon me to fix everything myself

@Sommer it sounds like the program correctly identifies all of the characters even in the special fonts - though I agree that choosing to deviate from the traditional character set can cause issues, this really seems like a problem with how the screen reader is made or configured rather than something that must be changed by users

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