Today (May 17th, 2018) is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. I thought it would be a great time to reflect on how far we’ve come as an industry and how far we still have to go.
When I started the Accessible Games blog back in 2010, my primary goal was to review board games and talk about their accessibility (or lack thereof). The idea was to spotlight those games which are easily adapted for people with disabilities (PWDs) and to mention which games should probably be avoided for people with certain disabilities.
As the years progressed, I started to grow frustrated with common accessibility issues. I gravitated more toward roleplaying games because they simply required less effort to adapt for my personal needs. They also offered me lots of hours of enjoyment without the need to adapt every new game that came my way. A few modifications to an RPG of … Continue reading
I recently came upon the Modifier Podcast, part of the One Shot Podcast Network. To date, the podcast has featured two episodes about accessibility in gaming which everyone should check out.
Episode 1 is an interview with Elsa S. Henry, designer of Dead Scare and the upcoming Fate Accessibility Toolkit. If that name sounds familiar to you, it may be because you saw the Diversity+ panel I shared with her and others (or you may know her from any number of other reasons).
Episode 19 is an interview with two other podcasters, one of whom is blind. They talk a great deal about games, game aids, conventions, and various other accessibility topics.
So far I’m fond of everything I’ve listened to on this podcast and will definitely be following it in the future. Hats off to Meghan Dornbrock for a fantastic show.
This entry is part of 1 in the series RPG Blog Carnival
This month I’ll be hosting the RPG Blog Carnival, a blogging tradition going back to 2008. This month’s topic? Accessibility in Games, of course.
Throughout the month of March, I’d encourage you to really think about what accessibility in gaming means to you. It may mean different things to different people: equal access for people with disabilities, inclusiveness in game design and representation of people from diverse backgrounds, family-friendly gaming with a welcoming vibe, etc.
The Accessible Games motto is “Games for absolutely everyone.” To me, that pretty much means all of the above.
If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll know that I often talk about how to make RPGs more … Continue reading
Thursday, December 3rd, is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. To celebrate, and to bring awareness to gamers with disabilities, we’re selling all of our PDFs for 50% off from DriveThruRPG.
The theme for this year is Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.
“The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.”
It’s every individual’s responsibility to be inclusive of people from all walks of life. As gamers, we’ve been exposed to a lot of discussion about the rights of women and people of color–and to be sure, discussion of those rights is absolutely imperative–but we don’t often talk about the rights of people with disabilities. Too few games are … Continue reading
I recently came upon this helpful style guide for writing about people with disabilities. It’s geared toward members of the press, but useful for anyone who might be writing about disabilities in general.
Link: NCDJ Style Guide
The style guide has a helpful A to Z list of common terms, their backgrounds, and recommendations for how to use them when referring to people with disabilities. There are a couple of common themes among their recommendations:
- Use people-first language. This means you should use phrases such as “a person with a visual impairment” rather than “a visually impaired person.”
- Only refer to the disability if it’s relevant to the story. One example they use is that of residents of a neighborhood complaining about noisy airplanes flying overhead. One of the residents uses a wheelchair, but that fact isn’t relevant to the story because it has nothing to do … Continue reading
This entry is part 15 of 17 in the series Tutorials
I have offered a lot of tutorials about how to use Adobe InDesign CS6 to make accessible PDFs. It’s a great program — industry-standard for a reason — but it’s also really epensive. Even with the new, more affordable Creative Cloud option, InDesign can seem out of reach for a small press publisher who’s on a budget.
In “How to Choose Layout Software,” I mentioned a few InDesign alternatives. Scribus is a free and open source layout program that is powerful, if not the most intuitive. Serif PagePlus is a low-cost alternative that isn’t quite as full-featured as InDesign, but it will get the job done for a fraction of the cost. More recently, I discovered LucidPress, a free web-based layout program, as well.
If you’re using one of these alternatives, you … Continue reading
This entry is part 14 of 17 in the series Tutorials
After the spotlight on Shaintar I wrote a few weeks ago, I received quite a bit of feedback from people who had some misconceptions about DriveThruRPG’s system limitations. I’d like to clear up a few of them with today’s tutorial and walk you through the process of uploading a file to DTRPG without watermarks.
Much of the feedback I received was from other layout artists who, I presume, don’t often upload the final PDFs to DriveThru. Some of the feedback was from other publishers who, again I presume, don’t’ do layout work themselves.
I seem to be in a somewhat uncommon position where I do both. I realized that I have insight drawn from both sides of this issue; from the perspective of the publisher uploading the files and the layout person who puts … Continue reading
This entry is part 13 of 17 in the series Tutorials
It’s April First, but this is no April Fool’s post.
It’s Tutorial Tuesday, but this week I’d like to step back for a moment and talk more broadly about why accessibility is important. Many of the tutorials I’ve written up to this point have provided steps to help make documents more accessible, and there are many good reasons for that.
But before I get into the details, I wanted to share a link to this great podcast I listened to recently. The episode is about accessibility in web design, but there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of great takeaways that apply to all electronic media, and even a few points that extend into everyday life in general.
It’s a little over an hour long, but if you have the time I’d suggest checking out … Continue reading
This entry is part 10 of 17 in the series Tutorials
With a birthday, a new product launch, looming Kickstarter campaign, and a baby on the way, I’ve been pretty busy this week. That means I haven’t had time to do an in-depth tutorial for you, but I’d still like to talk generally about a few things you can do to structure your books to improve both readability and accessibility.
This week’s post may be more fluff than crunch, but it’s still substantial. Readability matters to everyone — a book that isn’t laid out properly just isn’t very useful. It also improves accessibility to people with print disabilities though, so by following some good guidelines you can ensure your book is suited for the widest possible audience.
Importing documents into your layout program of choice is usually pretty simple. You import … Continue reading
I have been asked by several people if there was one quick reference document for game designers and publishers that would help guide their decisions in regards to accessibility. To date, there hasn’t been one for me to point them to.
One of my goals for 2014 is to fix that. I am now beginning work on an Accessibility Best Practices document, which will be freely shared with anyone wishing to produce more accessible games and game-related documents.
It’s a huge undertaking, and I’m seeking collaborators to lend a hand. Here’s my roadmap:
Step one: Identify the needs of a Best Practices document
I have already begun work on this and have an active Google Doc available for anyone to view. Check out the Google Doc.
Step two: develop standards
After needs have been identified, we must develop standard best practices. This step will require research, testing, iterating, … Continue reading