Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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

Modifier Podcast Episodes about Accessibility

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.

What Does Accessibility Mean to You?

This entry is part of 1 in the seriesRPG Blog Carnival

This entry is part of 1 in the series RPG Blog Carnival

RPG Bloggers Carnival BannerThis 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

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – Sale

accessiblegamesThursday, 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

Style Guide for Writing About People with Disabilities

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

Conventions and Canes

Summer convention season is once again upon us, and that means it’s time for a friendly reminder about being aware of yourself and your surroundings while you’re interacting with others in large crowds.

Recently I had the honor of writing a guest post for hans Cummings’ “GenCon Tips and Advice Series” on his blog. The article, entitled Conventions and Canes, talks a bit about my excitement and apprehension about attending GenCon for the first time and being there without a sighted guide. It also goes on to provide some tips and advice for con-goers about how to maintain awareness and be supportive of fellow attendees who may have need for some accommodations.

You can read that article on Hans’ website here.

If you’re new to the Accessible Games blog, you may also want to check out these past articles I wrote about similar topics:

Uploading Unwatermarked PDFs to DTRPG

This entry is part 14 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

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

Why Accommodating Others is Your Best Investment

This entry is part 13 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

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

So What Does an Accessible PDF Look Like?

This entry is part 11 of 17 in the seriesTutorials

This entry is part 11 of 17 in the series Tutorials


Next week, I plan to do a tutorial about how to layer PDFs. It’s simple, painless, and does a lot to improve the accessibility of a document. Layering a PDF allows users to toggle the visibility of certain elements. If a background is causing contrast issues, for example, the user can simply hide the background and the text becomes much clearer.

Layers are just one aspect of an accessible PDF. Bookmarks and tags are just as important, and I’ve already written a tutorial about how to do both of those.

This week, I’ll show off a PDF that scores high marks in accessibility. It’s Shaintar: Legends Arise by Evil Beagle Games, who have been kind enough to allow me to share screenshots of their … Continue reading

Seeking Collaborators for Accessibility Best Practices

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