Accessibility at Develop 2018

This year Develop made a specific call for submissions on accessibility and inclusion. The result of that is a record breaking year for Develop, a huge increase in the amount of disability related sessions, covering a wide range of topics.

Tuesday 10th July: 16.00 – 16.45 : Room 6

Delivering Therapy Apps for Patients with Acquired Brain Injury

Alex Leff, Queen Square

Three e-therapies that cover the three stages of development (patient co-creation; clinical trial; roll out). These are designed for patients with acquired brain injury (stroke, brain tumours, traumatic brain injury) to be able to use with minimal help to improve specific aspects of their cognition (e.g. reading, understanding speech, word finding). As well as therapy elements (some of which are gamified to increase users’ engagement with the e-therapy), the apps also contain diagnostic and outcome measures, so users can see if they are improving or not.

Wednesday 11th July: 16.00 – 16.45 : Room 5

Beyond Gaming: How Live Streaming Brings Next Level Inclusion

Tara Voelker, Xbox

Live streaming has been growing for years and has become huge part of the video game industry. But what does streaming mean for gamers with disabilities? In this session, Tara will discuss live streaming and it’s impact for viewers and streamers with disabilities, provide an introduction to Twitch Extensions and Mixer Interactive, and tell you how you can leverage this new tool set to bring forth a new level of inclusion in your title or build accessibility tools for a whole new audience.


  • How gamers with disabilities engage in video game streaming as both a viewer and a broadcaster
  • Receive an introduction to Twitch Extensions and Mixer Interactive
  • Learn how to use these technologies to be more inclusive than ever

Wednesday 11th July: 17.00 – 17.45 : Room 5

Solving an Invisible Problem: Designing for Colour-Blindness

Douglas Pennant, Creative Assembly

Drawing from his own experiences as a colour-blind gamer and developer, Douglas goes into detail about how the colour blind see the world, and how this can make some video games very difficult to play. He also addresses the issue of why developing for colour blindness is so difficult, with anecdotal examples from the development of Alien: Isolation and Halo Wars 2, and why some colour-blind solutions can still fail to make the game more playable. The aim of this talk is to deepen delegates understanding of exactly what colour blindness does to a gamer’s experience and expose them to some practices and solutions that can help make their games more accessible to the colour blind.

Thursday 12th July: 11.00 – 11.45 : Room 7

Making Accessibility A Reality (round table)

Ian Hamilton, accessibility specialist

Inclusion of gamers with disabilities is easiest to achieve when it is tackled from the start of development. But to be able to do that you need to know where to start and how to think about tackling these issues. Whether you’re just starting out on your accessibility journey or an experienced practitioner wanting to share experiences, come and join this discussion about how to plan for and implement accessibility.

Thursday 12th July: 14.00 – 14.45 : Room 5

VR and Disability: An Overdue Love Story

Paulo Torelli, programmer & UX expert

Videogames are at their root about empowerment and escapism. Virtual Reality especially offers unprecedented options for immersion, enabling users, and freeing them from their physical constraints. People with disability are usually considered a niche market, an afterthought, a reasonable casualty in the existing marketing paradigm. With 1 in 5 having a disability, there is a large demand for entertainment by the people who need it most, but are notably discriminated against by VR titles available. Looking beyond the initial wow factor of VR, the truth is that people with transient or permanent disability look at VR as the primary tool by which they can expand their otherwise limited gaming and entertainment experience, making them an ideal core target.

The talk provides insight on the necessities, challenges, and requirements that disabled gamers meet daily, and practical, cost-effective approaches that developers may use to reach a wider audience that will persist past the initial curiosity wave.


  • Why gamers with disability form a core audience for VR
  • What are their necessities and challenges
  • How developers can satisfy the added constraints in cost-effective ways
  • How to effectively include people with disabilities in the development process

Thursday 12th July: 15.00 – 15.45 : Room 2

Fostering an Inclusive Mindset for the Future of Games Development

Ravi Thornton, Ziggy’s Wish
Jordi Sola, Ziggy’s Wish

As the games industry seeks to encourage and exploit new player populations in order to actively expand its user base, the pressure on the games industry to ensure its work is socially responsible will grow exponentially. Not only are equality, inclusion and diversity key to growing an audience, they are also key to user wellbeing: a topic that will come increasingly under scrutiny as technologies that the games industry is very publicly exploring and utilising, such as artificial intelligence and extended realities, push further into people’s everyday lives. This talk, delivered jointly by Ziggy’s Wish MD Ravi Thornton and CTO Jordi Sola, is designed to help foster a responsible, adaptive mindset for the games developers of the future; to make sure they start thinking about tomorrow’s questions today, rather than playing catch up in the face of potential criticism further down the line. Ziggy’s Wish specialises in creating Applied Narratives and Applied Narrative Technology tools for scientific research projects focused on intersectional social impact. Using case studies that discuss the challenges around user vulnerability and resilience, as well tangible methods to evidence social responsibility, this session will leave games developers better prepared to ensure that their industry not only embraces and supports the important and growing trend for new voices to be heard, but also drives its continued momentum.

Thursday 12th July: 16.00 – 16.45 : Room 5

Everyone Can: Techniques and Tricks for Building More Inclusive Games

Mark Jardoszak, Gaslight Games

As developers, we want to engage with the largest audience as possible. But how often are the challenges, current approaches and solutions to inclusive play considered? This talk will begin by discussing methods that are currently employed that allow players of varying abilities to enjoy games that are currently in the wild, including what hardware, software and any modifications are needed to simplify input and maximize enjoyment. We will then offer tips and tricks when considering inclusive play, providing attendees with several techniques they can implement in their own titles.


  • What modifications are being employed, right now, to support inclusive play.
  • What games have great inclusive techniques, and how we can learn from them.
  • What are the simplest concepts that our games can look to implement, to maximize inclusive play.
  • What impact does inclusive play options have on those players it more directly affects.

Comments are closed.