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Access Discord

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Discord is a communication platform that allows multiple people to communicate with each other.

While Discord itself is in no way linked with WikiTree, many WikiTree projects will use Discord to communicate.

Please note this guide is currently a work in progress.

What is Discord?

If you already know what Discord is and how it works, feel free to skip to the next "level 2" heading.

Before Discord


Most of us are familiar with the concept of an email. It's analogous to writing a letter. You write the message, fill out an address field, click send, and the mechanics that make up the cyber postmaster delivers it to the other end.

But what if we want to communicate instantly?

Instant messaging

An instant messaging system is analogous to making a phone call. It assumes that the two people who want to communicate are online. You click on the user, send a message, and it appears on their screen instantaneously.

But what if we want to communicate with multiple people at once?

There are some instant messaging systems (and indeed conferencing systems such as Zoom and Google Meet) that allow you to communicate with multiple people at once, or even the whole group, as if we were all in the same room. And that's fine, if we're all interested in the same topics.

So how do we split up into groups?

Conference centres

The concept of what I'm going to call conference centres became popular with IRC (internet relay chat), and later expanded into conferencing systems like TeamTalk.

Now, in our analogy, rather than only having access to one room, we have access to a whole building (a server). You have to know where that building is (the address) and go (connect) to it, but once you get there, you have access to multiple channels (rooms), and so you can host a party, a funeral, or a gig (assuming you have sound), all in separate areas.

What's more, that building is expandable - that is to say, anyone with the right privileges can create "channels" for their specific groups to gather in.


Discord takes all these concepts, but instead of having your own buildings, you are living in a social empire.

Discord's terminology can be confusing if you're used to networking and other online communication systems, so let's start at the top of the hierarchy.

Discord is a centralised server. That means that everything you do is run through Discord. If Discord decide to shut down their main operations computer, it's game over. The whole empire will crash to the ground.

Underneath that, we have what Discord have confusingly decided to call "servers". TO make it as easy as possible to follow along using discord, this guide will (grudgingly) continue to refer to them as servers. However, they are not servers in the technical sense of the word, but could be thought of more as workspaces. These workspaces are maintained by one or more people, and enable groups with similar interests or involvement to gather together and discuss things.

Each server is then further subdivided into channels. These are areas where the users can send messages (in a text channel), or talk freely (audio channels). Each channel can be further categorised. This, along with its description or topic, can help to make it more obvious when the name just isn't enough.

This guide will help you become familiar with the interface, from the point of view of a screen reader, so you can use it effectively.

Web browsing with a screen reader

Should this be in its own article?

Getting started

Account setup

To be added.

Joining a server

To be added.

Using Discord with a screen reader

Useful shortcuts

To be added.

The user interface

To be added.

Adding friends

To be added.

Joining channels

To be added.

Reading messages

To be added.

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Categories: Screen Reader Access