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Games industry & GAAD2019

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.

global accessibility awareness day may 16th 2019

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!

a11yjam

Week long game jam finishing on GAAD
https://mobile.twitter.com/VGaccessible/status/1128412250837065728

A11ystreaming

Discord & twitch round table discussion on where accessibility is and how to get it to where it could be
https://mobile.twitter.com/accessiblegamer/status/1128489156575887365

AbleGamers

Partnering with Senator Roxanne Persaud to establish an annual GAME (Game Accessibility Means Equality) event at Brookdale University
https://mobile.twitter.com/AbleGamers/status/1128749714726432774

Accessibility Days

Exhibit of audio games
https://mobile.twitter.com/AgileMovementIT/status/1128652760155590656

Accidental Queens

Thread on the development process of the accessibility features in Alt-Frequencies
https://mobile.twitter.com/SirPsychoHelo/status/1129019992022736897

Apple

iTunes feature on blind accessibility, and featuring Subwords as game of the day
https://mobile.twitter.com/BlindSparrowInt/status/1128801057667133443
https://mobile.twitter.com/klemensstrasser/status/1128901754177937408

AT&T

Talk on game accessibility by Brian Marquez
https://mobile.twitter.com/OneArmedWonder7/status/1128473153917870080

BBC

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
https://mobile.twitter.com/GarethFW/status/1128690999570640897
https://mobile.twitter.com/GrahamDensham/status/1128629620843208704
https://mobile.twitter.com/QualityIsKing/status/1128990377908801537

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
https://mobile.twitter.com/cherryrae/status/1128882449503494145
https://mobile.twitter.com/cherryrae/status/1128889950546432000

Eidos Montreal

Kicking off a series of workshops to investigate both accessibility standards across their output and tailored options for individual games
https://mobile.twitter.com/EidosMontreal/status/1129054175617265664

Game Informer

In depth state of the industry article by long term accessibility supporter Javi Gwaltney, with input from many specialists, gamers, manufacturers and developers
https://mobile.twitter.com/gameinformer/status/1129088351393288192

Gaming Cat

Sharing experiences of Melanie Eilert with the Xbox Adaptive Controller
https://mobile.twitter.com/GamingCat_Blog/status/1129072862818635776

Golden Sands

Blog post on how Sea of Thieves’ anniversary update impacts accessibility
https://mobile.twitter.com/GoldenSandsBlog/status/1129136561013047297

Grant Stoner

Podcast with Cherry Thompson, Bryce Johnson and Ian Hamilton
https://mobile.twitter.com/Super_Crip1994/status/1129081120933457920

Ian Hamilton

Sharing some less well known facts through 20 question of accessibility trivia
https://mobile.twitter.com/ianhamilton_/status/1129001503937769474

Level Access

Clip from AbleGamers CEO Mark Barlet on why game accessibility is important
https://mobile.twitter.com/LevelAccessA11y/status/1129018468731375616

Magic Leap

Talk by ML’s Accessiblity ManagerĀ Bill Curtis-Davidson at Miami’s GAAD event
https://mobile.twitter.com/pravvy/status/1128969662295957504

Mixer

Adaptive controller sticker available on Mixer all week, and a week long programme and homepage takeover of accessibility advocates & disabled streamers
https://mobile.twitter.com/watchmixer/status/1123723774149292032

OneSwitch

Video showcasing Fortnite being played using 3 light-weight thumb-sticks on a Game Control Mixer.
https://mobile.twitter.com/OneSwitch/status/1128944604907298816

PlayStation

Internal events including inviting Paul Amadeus Lane as a guest speaker and developer empathy excercises
https://mobile.twitter.com/Amadeus2k/status/1129187647413317632
https://mobile.twitter.com/SilvasDesign/status/1129118608078983169

Sony Santa Monica

Sharing an internal presentation on accessiblity efforts and learnings in God of War (be sure to turn on speaker notes)
https://mobile.twitter.com/SonySantaMonica/status/1129786256576065538

SpecialEffect

The story of how they were able to help 3 year old Oliver play again
https://mobile.twitter.com/SpecialEffect/status/1128941581426413572

Splash Damage

Awareness raising event with guest Ben ‘SightlessKombat’ Breen, inclusive tech lab setup, literature, and cake!
https://mobile.twitter.com/lefran/status/1128767782638714880
https://mobile.twitter.com/lefran/status/1129132420018692096

Steve Saylor

GAAD podcast reflecting on the progress over the past year and work that lies ahead
https://mobile.twitter.com/stevesaylor/status/1129050862091948033

Ubisoft

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
https://mobile.twitter.com/Ubisoft/status/1129064336264241152

Utrecht University

Networking lunch for game studios and disabled gamers
https://mobile.twitter.com/neurodivergers/status/1128626161817407488

Xbox

A very busy day for Senior Gaming Accessibility Program Manager Brannon Zahand
https://mobile.twitter.com/BrannonZ/status/1129268608784224256

Xbox Ambassadors

Announcement of accessibility training programme to empower Xbox Ambassadors to both raise awareness and assist gamers
https://mobile.twitter.com/XboxAmbassadors/status/1129124274139148288

And…

To close on, a GAAD message from Bryce Johnson
https://mobile.twitter.com/brycej/status/1128916965433663489

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.

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