Today we released audiorecorderfield.module, a module that enables users to record audio contents directly from the browser, with a simple click of the mouse (http://www.drupal.org/project/audiorecorderfield/).
It has been about 5 years since I started asking for that sort of capability in Drupal sites. At that time, I was working with underserved youth who did not have regular access to computers and, in many cases, were semi-literate. I knew they had a lot to say and would love to express their stories online. However, to expect them to do so in writing was too much.
With the new web-based audio recorder, we hope people will be able to express themselves more naturally, with their own accents, with the background noises that are characteristic of their environment, and with many other things that are hard to express by text.
All sites that claim to be participatory, or that are at least open to people's feedback, should provide an option for those who tend to be excluded. Hopefully, modules like the audio recorder will contribute to change that situation for better...