Global Accessibility Awareness Day is event that takes place on the third Thursday of every May, with the goal of raising awareness about digital accessibility. Every year the games industry has been embracing it to ever greater levels.
2019 has been no exception. While there was no individual effort that was as monumental as the announcement of the Xbox Adaptive Controller the number of companies and individuals doing their bit for the cause took another leap forwards. Some of these efforts are not public knowledge, companies holding private internal events, individuals sending emails around their teams, and so on. But many are public knowledge. I’ve tried to keep track of as much as I can but there will be others that I missed, let me know if you know of any!
Week long game jam finishing on GAAD
Discord & twitch round table discussion on where accessibility is and how to get it to where it could be
Partnering with Senator Roxanne Persaud to establish an annual GAME (Game Accessibility Means Equality) event at Brookdale University
Exhibit of audio games
Thread on the development process of the accessibility features in Alt-Frequencies
iTunes feature on blind accessibility, and featuring Subwords as game of the day
Talk on game accessibility by Brian Marquez
Talks and exhibits on accessibility in children’s games, and talks on VR accessibility, an accessible game UI framework, and research on & principles of subtitle size
Cherry ‘cherryrae’ Thompson
Compilation of twitter threads on a wide range of games, and a post on the importance of kindness when advocating and teaching
Kicking off a series of workshops to investigate both accessibility standards across their output and tailored options for individual games
In depth state of the industry article by long term accessibility supporter Javi Gwaltney, with input from many specialists, gamers, manufacturers and developers
Sharing experiences of Melanie Eilert with the Xbox Adaptive Controller
Blog post on how Sea of Thieves’ anniversary update impacts accessibility
Podcast with Cherry Thompson, Bryce Johnson and Ian Hamilton
Sharing some less well known facts through 20 question of accessibility trivia
Clip from AbleGamers CEO Mark Barlet on why game accessibility is important
Talk by ML’s Accessiblity Manager Bill Curtis-Davidson at Miami’s GAAD event
Adaptive controller sticker available on Mixer all week, and a week long programme and homepage takeover of accessibility advocates & disabled streamers
Video showcasing Fortnite being played using 3 light-weight thumb-sticks on a Game Control Mixer.
Internal events including inviting Paul Amadeus Lane as a guest speaker and developer empathy excercises
Sony Santa Monica
Sharing an internal presentation on accessiblity efforts and learnings in God of War (be sure to turn on speaker notes)
The story of how they were able to help 3 year old Oliver play again
Awareness raising event with guest Ben ‘SightlessKombat’ Breen, inclusive tech lab setup, literature, and cake!
GAAD podcast reflecting on the progress over the past year and work that lies ahead
Video and article centered on a workshop held with a range of advocates & specialists, together with an interview with David Tisserand on Ubisoft’s wider accessibility practices and principles
Networking lunch for game studios and disabled gamers
A very busy day for Senior Gaming Accessibility Program Manager Brannon Zahand
Announcement of accessibility training programme to empower Xbox Ambassadors to both raise awareness and assist gamers
To close on, a GAAD message from Bryce Johnson
If any of these activities and initiatives have left you feeling like you want to get involved too, next year’s event will be on Thursday May 21st. But you don’t have to wait until then, every day is a good day to raise awareness about accessibility.