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Creating an Accessible Discord Servers

Unofficial & Unsupported Social Media

Discord is not an officially supported social media by CSUSM.

If you are a faculty member or staff: Consider using Teams instead when creating an official CSUSM community space.

Server Guidelines for Discord Admins

  • When creating a server, pick custom Roles in a color with high contrast - remember that end-users can select different server themes (dark/light) and colors need to be legible with both theme options.
  • Offer multiple options for participants to join in discussions.

Roles and Color Contrast

Discord Admins can set up Roles for server members (users) to be sorted in to. These roles changes the user's username in a custom color. The default colors that Discord suggests are NOT accessible to all users depending on the theme the user has selected. 

Generally, it is advised that all colors selected in a digital medium are a 4.5:1 ratio or higher (WCAG 2.1 AA standards). This ensures that individuals with color blindness and low vision are able to consume the text content presented. Unfortunately, Discord offers multiple app/desktop themes for end users to select from and a 4.5:1 ratio on both dark and light theme options are unable to be met. 

The Society for Blaseball Research has a paper on Improving accessibility in Discord team role color contrast that advises 3.1:1 or higher colors that will likely meet the needs of most server members (WCAG 2.1 A standards).

The color suggestions are as follows:

Discord Role Color Suggestions
Color Description HEX Code/Color Visual Light Mode Contrast
(White background)
Dark Mode Contrast
(Dark grey background)
(Black background)
Dark cyan - lime green #00a455 3.26:1 3.55:1 6.44: 1
Slightly desaturated red #cd7672 3.27:1 3.54:1 6.43:1
Soft blue - purple #8877ee  3.55:1 3.26:1 5.92:1
Vivid red #ff3714  3.62:1 3.20:1 5.81:1
Orchid #cc66dd  3.22:1 3.59:1  6.51:1
Dark green #50a210  3.22:1 3.59:1 6.52:1
Bright blue #3f88fd  3.41:1 3.39:1 6.15:1
Moderate blue #6388c8 3.57:1 3.25:1 5.89:1
Bright magenta #f032c9 3.50:1 3.31:1  6.00:1
Medium pink #dd6699 3.26:1 3.55:1 6.43:1
Bright red/pink #f94965 3.40:1 3.40:1  6.17:1
Dark gray #888888 3.54:1 3.27:1 5.92:1
Moderate blue #3399bb 3.27:1 3.54:1 6.41:1
Dark moderate cyan #339988 3.47:1 3.34:1 6.05:1
Ochre #bc8519 3.23:1 3.59:1  6.51:1
Dark grayish violet #9988AA 3.25:1 3.56:1 6.46:1
Coral/red #ec5a74  3.34:1 3.46:1  6.28:1
Dark moderate orange #aa8855 3.30:1 3.51:1 6.36:1
Soft violet #aa66ee 3.59:1 3.22:1 5.84:1
Vivid orange #f05d14 3.34:1 3.46:1 6.28:1
Terracotta #c87152 3.54:1 3.27:1  5.94:1

Discord does look to be working on adjusting the default colors to work with all themes, but is slowly rolling out the change to users.

Discord users can also adjust role colors
Discord's official accessibility documentation has a section about  "Role Colors".

A user can: 
  • Adjust the color saturation
  • Show role colors in names
  • Show role colors next to names
  • Disable role colors

Accessible Drag and Drop

Discord admins and users both use a drag and drop feature to customize the overall server experience. Discord has a guide on how to activate the accessible drag and drop feature.

Offer Multiple Ways to Participate

Be sure to offer multiple options for participants to join in discussions! 

Example: Only offering voice chat meetings alienates users who have hearing difficulties, are in noisy environments, are unavaliable at a set time, or might not have the technology available to join in the conversations.