Discord on PC appears to be the only way to use the apps alt text feature

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

The Discord alt text function only works for PC versions, in case you were wondering.

Discord has been progressively improving the text and video chat application’s accessibility since it introduced an accessibility menu back in May 2021. Since then, we’ve seen a number of updates introduce features such as text-to-speech options, and keyboard support for dragging and dropping, while November 2021 saw the implementation of alt text through a software update.

However, it was only during GAConf EU 2022 that we became aware that the alt text function does not appear to work on mobile devices, and also Mac OS X. What this meant was that those wanting to provide alt text for screen reader users attending the discussions surrounding the event were having to type out the alt text as a text chat.

Can I Play That reached out to Discord to find out if support was planned. A representative speaking on behalf of Discord told us, “We don’t have anything further to share right now,” but told us that they would keep us posted.

For now, adding alt text to images on Discord through mobile and Mac OS X devices will need the user to apply their own description through text chat linked to the image such as “Alt text: [Image description]”. Those on PC can apply alt text by clicking an image’s edit button to embed alt text to the image itself.

In related news, alt text has been fairly popular lately and last year we saw Facebook and Instagram seemingly remove the character limit for alt text. More recently, Microsoft Edge now provides automatic alt text for image descriptions while Twitter has made its new alt text badge public following a trial run for the feature.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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