At Discord, we imagine a place where no one is an outsider.
Okay, you’ve probably heard that line *plenty of times* by now, but it’s true: we believe Discord should be a platform where everyone can find a home, and more importantly, a platform that is accessible by anyone, regardless of how they interact with the app.
Accessibility Matters. Anyone should be able to easily connect with the people and communities they care about the most, and the application you’re using should be able to change to your needs. If Discord’s indeed your home, your home should adapt for you, rather than you trying to make huge shifts in how you interact with Discord just to send a message, talk to a friend, or show them your new face tattoo over video.
Over the last few years, we’ve been adding and improving Discord in ways both big and small to benefit everyone. Every person on Discord brings a unique perspective and has different ways of relating to the world. To ensure we address the variety of use cases, we collaborate with a dedicated accessibility-focused community with fellow Discord users who navigate the app in unconventional ways, gaining valuable insight into what works, and what needs improvement.
Below are a few recently added highlights that help make Discord better for everyone:
- Drag & Drop via Keyboard: If you don’t use a mouse to navigate, you can use keyboard shortcuts to drag and drop content around.
- Text to Speech Speed Slider: If you use Text to Speech but the default speed in which the words are spoken is a little too slow (or fast) for you to comfortably use, feel free to adjust it to your heart’s content!
- Reduced Motion: Lowers the number of transitions, highlights, and animations throughout the app so you can better focus on the conversation at hand.
- Message Send Button: One of the newest additions, you can enable an optional button that you can use to send your message, rather than having to press the Enter key.
- Hugely Improved Keyboard Navigation & Screen Reader Support: Take a look at our Keyboard Navigation engineering blog post to learn how it all works under the hood.
- Visual Saturation Settings: Lowers how intense colors throughout Discord are. You can optionally include user-defined content, such as role colors.
But our dedication to accessibility doesn’t stop with just these improvements: we’re committed to being WCAG Level 2.1 AA compliant in the near future, and building towards that our team is thrilled to celebrate Disability Pride Month by rolling out a few new Accessibility features and improvements today on desktop, web, and iOS – with Android availability coming soon:
- Role Colors: Rather than an individual’s name being colored based upon your server roles, you can now display a colored dot next to a user’s name that takes on their role’s color instead. This can help in communities that use bright colors to signify their roles, or use role colors that may be harder to discern on Dark or Light themes.
- Image Alt Text on Mobile: You can include a short written description of an image to provide context for your image when it can’t be viewed due to environmental or accessibility reasons. We are adding support for alt text on mobile to help those who rely on screen readers — learn more in our Help Center article.
- Windows High Contrast Mode: This allows you to apply custom, high-contrast themes natively across Windows. Users with visual impairments can customize how Discord renders, customizing key colors that are then put onto the interface and can make your app more readable.
- Open-Source Drag and Drop: And, finally, we’re sharing the love by open-sourcing our React-Native Drag & Drop backend so other developers can make Drag & Drop experiences accessible for their own users. You can find it on GitHub.
You can check out our new Discord Accessibility page to learn more about the many accessibility features we’re rolling out on Discord today, the ones we’ve had over the last several years. Feel free to bookmark it so you can refer back as we continue to release more accessibility options to make Discord more inclusive.
Imagining a Place for Everyone
Accessibility is a first principle across the entire company — just like you would expect all of our teams to ensure the platform is secure, all of our teams make accessibility a priority in any new feature we build, with oversight and recommendations from our dedicated Accessibility team. For example, our limited-time Party Mode for our 7th Birthday turned off animations by default for users who have Reduced Motion on, and we made sure that Text Chat in Voice Channels was accessible to screen readers.
However, there’s always work to make the platform more inclusive to everyone and every body. If there’s something that you think would be beneficial to how you interact with Discord, tell us what you’d like to see! You can share your idea directly with our Accessibility team by using the Accessibility Feedback Form.
If you’d like to use one of the many Accessibility features, head into User Settings and open the Accessibility, Appearance, or Text & Images menus, depending on what you’d like to adjust. These options are available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and the web app.
Whether you require assistive technologies or are simply looking for ways to improve your experience using Discord, we’ve got what you need to best fit the way you work, play, or hang out on the platform. We hope that these options can help make Discord a better experience for everyone, no matter how you use the app.