Just a friendly reminder that doing formatting using unicode characters like 𝑲 sucks total ass for screenreaders

[description: a video of a screenreader reading a tweet with lots of unicode "formatting"]

Also, most people have heard of screen readers, but another common way visually impaired users interact with computers is with braille displays. It's a device that mechanically pops up a set of nudges to form braille characters like ⠵. Here's a picture of one:

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Another thing you can do to keep your toots more screen reader friendly is to use camel case when writing your hashtags, it makes the word separation machine readable and makes the screen reader pronounce things as intended.

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@amandag this was annoying as fuck to listen to and I encourage everyone to give it a listen so they understand exactly how bad it is.

@amandag This is good read / listen. The replies in thread though...

@amandag This is awesome.

Also, Sneakers (the movie) features one of those. They look amazing.

How fast are they to read? Like if someone really practiced and got it down. Is it an automatic speed or is it somehow timed?

@amandag I don't see a picture and idk if it is because my internet is shitty, or if it's a clever way of showing people how annoying this would be if it didn't have a caption

@ijyx That must be a network or federation error somewhere, there's an image there. I can link you a imgur upload if that helps:

@amandag That’s amazing. I had no idea they existed.

@amandag also sucks ass for devices where it looks like a bunch of squares, sometimes with an X or questionmark inside

@ella Yeah. Fun fact, the name for squares like that is tofu.

@amandag oh that makes sense but I didn’t even think of it 😬 thanks for sharing

@amandag and it's the only way masto.soc users can format shit since gargron won't do real styles

@purringChaos yeah I can only imagine how enourmous a frustration dealing with that daily is i have to use a screen reader because for the mornign and sometimes randomly my eyes just decide to randomly stop annoying, and having weird unicode garbage really doesnt help when your dyslexic and can barely read when everything is in comic sans

@amandag why do screenreaders pronounce those codepoints like that anyway

like, when you're actually doing mathematics you don't say "mathematical symbol y equals sign mathematical symbol x superscript 2" or whatever, you say "y equals x squared"

@amandag a screenreader pronouncing fake italics simulated with mathematical symbols the same way it pronounces real italics would also be wrong, of course, so we should be supporting actual semantic formatting with markdown or whatever instead

the current behaviour doesn't seem correct either though. seems like the screenreaders could do things much better :blobcatthinking:

@amandag we're coming up on the two-year anniversary of Gargron giving a solution to this the silent treatment. Everyone send him your well-wishes:

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