Accessibility in the News: Gaming Accessibility
The gaming industry has improved its accessibility focus in recent years by listening to gamers with disabilities. This effort has been prompted by organizations like, Able Gamers, a nonprofit dedicated to improving inclusion in the gaming industry. Microsoft made a significant breakthrough when they introduced their adaptive controller in 2018, allowing gamers of all different abilities to enjoy the games they love. Game developers have continued to show how they can push the envelope when it comes to accessibility.
In 2020 the video game developer Naughty Dog released what has been referred to as the most accessible game ever. “The Last of Us 2” is a post-apocalyptic action/adventure game with over 60 different accessibility options. By including high-contrast environments, text-to-speech, vibration and audio cues, the game has been designed to be playable by blind and low vision gamers. The studio doesn’t intend to stop there either, in a tweet from Robert Krekel, the Lead Audio Developer at Naughty Dog stated “[w]e took a big step on The Last of Us Part 2 with accessibility, but we are not satisfied. We will continue to evolve and improve these systems over our coming projects. The goal being that anyone should be able to finish our games. Games are for everyone.”
Below are a collection of news stories dedicated to accessibility in gaming gathered from Accessibility in the News, our free weekly accessibility newsletter. If you or anyone you know is interested in more news like this please feel free to subscribe here: Subscribe to Accessibility in the News!
Gaming Accessibility in 2021
Shattering the ‘gamer’ stereotype
February 23, 2021 | Source: The Washington Post
Video Games Have Never Been More Accessible
February 23, 2021 | Source: Rewire
Microsoft’s investments make Xbox a leader in gaming accessibility, and others should follow
February 23, 2021 | Source: Windows Central
Courtney Craven was an avid video game player growing up, but stopped for a stretch during college and graduate school. Then in 2014, Craven’s partner— who is deaf—bought a game console that changed both of their lives. “She was excited to play it, because it was graphically stunning,” said Craven, who uses the pronoun they. “But about 20 minutes into the game, she discovered that because of the poor captioning, she couldn’t progress,” they explained. The game wasn’t accessible to Craven’s partner, not because she wasn’t interested, but because the industry had not yet caught up to how diverse its fanbase was…
Top Stories 2020
- April 21, 2020 – For physically disabled gamers, the Switch is incredibly accessible. Here’s why. – Washington Post
- April 24, 2020 – Breaking deaf stereotypes and normalizing sign language through gaming – ARS Technica
- June 12, 2020 – The Last of Us Part 2 gives players with disabilities a better gaming experience – CNET
- June 14, 2020 – Blind gamer shares emotional response to The Last of Us Part 2 accessibility options – VG 247
- June 18, 2020 – The Last Of Us Part 2: All Accessibility Options – PlayStation Universe
- June 19, 2020 – Last of Us 2 has ‘changed the game’ for accessibility – CBC News
- June 21, 2020 – Last of Us Part II: Is this the most accessible game ever? – BBC News
- September 19, 2020– How to Make Your Game Streams Accessible with Live Captions – Tom’s Hardware
- October 29, 2020 – Gamers Forge Their Own Paths When It Comes to Accessibility – Wired
- October 30, 2020 – Microsoft’s Xbox Website Allegedly Violates ADA – Law Street Media
- December 21, 2020 – Noteworthy Advancement in Accessibility for 2020 – IGN
Top Stories 2019
- January 14, 2019- Disabled video gamers find more options as EA, others expand choices – Orlando Sentinel
- January 17, 2019- It’s designers who can make gaming more accessible for people living with disabilities – The Conversation
- January 31, 2019- Gaming accessibility is the star of Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad – Engadget
- March 21, 2019- Gaming for Everyone: 6 Accessible Gaming Devices – PC Magazine
- April 2, 2019- Learning With: ‘Adaptive Video Game Controllers Open Worlds for Gamers With Disabilities’ – New York Times
- May 6, 2019- An Xbox controller with a built-in Braille display is Microsoft’s latest gaming accessibility play – TechCrunch
- May 9, 2019- Video games are a ‘great equalizer’ for people with disabilities – USA Today
- May 20, 2019- Ubisoft is making strides towards more accessible games – Digital Trends
- June 30, 2019- Microsoft’s Adaptive Xbox Controller Makes Gaming More Accessible – Now This News
- June 27, 2019- What does a truly accessible game look like? We asked the pros – Digital Trends
- July 16, 2019- How a West Virginia group helped make video games accessible to the disabled – The Washington Post
- August 5, 2019- Who better to review a game for accessibility than a disabled gamer? – Digital Trends
- October 8, 2019- Accessibility finally matters to the game industry — but it needs to do better – Venture Beat
- November 18, 2019- Logitech’s Adaptive Gaming Kit is a cheaper way in to accessible gaming – The Verge
- November 18, 2019- UT’s National Deaf Center develops first ASL-accessible video game – The Daily Texan
- December 3, 2019- Logitech G Adaptive Gaming Kit Creates New Possibilities For Gamers With Accessibility Needs – Irish Tech News
- December 23, 2019- The biggest hurdle of accessible games may be the community, not developers – Polygon
- December 27, 2019- Video game for blind children designed by 12-year-old Valrico whizkid with hearing loss – ABC Action News
Microassist Digital Accessibility Services
Have you received an accessibility demand letter because of your website or application? Please contact us for any questions you have about our accessibility services and how we might support your organization.
- Accessible Website and Application Development— We rely heavily on accessibility best practices and using HTML5 and ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) standards to build WCAG-compliant and human-tested accessible environments. Our teams are proficient in open source technologies such as WordPress, Drupal and Moodle, as well as custom frameworks in .NET, PHP, AngularJS, and other frameworks. Our Learning and Development team can also help you create accessible custom training.
- Accessible Document Services— Whether you’re dealing with a few or a warehouse of Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, or other files, there are several ways Microassist can enable your team to offer documents and materials that meet stringent accessibility standards.
- Accessibility Remediation— Our accessibility remediation services help you fix existing materials so that they conform to WCAG, Section 504 and 508, Department of Education OCR, and ADA Title II/III requirements. We remediate websites, applications, documents, and elearning, recommending re-creation when that is more efficient and economical. Especially for website and applications, to find out what is in need of remediation, we’ll start with an Accessibility Audit.
- Accessibility Training— With several courses available for developers, testers, and content creators, your team can become equipped to consistently and expertly produce accessible digital products and online environments.
- VPAT®Evaluation Services— Primarily used by government purchasers and government vendors during the procurement and sale of ICT products and services under Section 508, a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT) attests to the accessibility of a given product or service. Contact us to make sure the VPAT you write or review is accurate and meaningful.
Learn More About Digital Accessibility
Our Digital Accessibility Digest blog covers our Accessibility in the News archives as well as expert commentaries on digital accessibility issues.
Our most popular commentaries include:
- The WCAG 2.1 Update: A Brief Look at What’s Changed
- Introducing VPAT®0, the More Stringent Accessibility Reporting Tool Required for Government IT Procurement
- Accessibility in the News, Legal Edition: Updates on ADA Title III News and More
- What Lawyers Need to Know: A Primer on Digital Accessibility Terms and Today’s Legal Landscape