A Virtual Experience: AT for Video Gaming meets Second Life


By MATP Staff Member Laura Hall

A few weeks ago, I presented at the International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference on Assistive Technology for Video Gaming.  The conference was sponsored by Virtual Ability, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing supportive online environments for people with disabilities.   Despite the conference title. I didn’t get to go anywhere exotic, but rather gave my presentation in a rather beautiful place known as “Virtual Ability Island” on Second Life, a 3D virtual world.  I had an avatar, who resembled me, complete with a wheelchair and MDRC flag.  Feisty and Non-Compliant tee shirts were also given to the crowd.  Other “residents” sat in the presentation space and my slides were projected on the wall behind me.  A large number people with disabilities attended the conference –  some, completely blind and completely Deaf, so presentations were given in both text and voice format simultaneously.  I talked to various people with different disabilities who used a variety of assistive technology.   It was clear that much work had been done by Virtual Ability to make their Second Life space accessible, although there were still many visual elements that I’m not still not sure how/if the system can completely accommodate people who are blind or have low vision.  Either way, the crowd was enthusiastic about learning more about assistive technology for video gaming and elements of game design that can create greater accessibility.

Here is your chance to learn more about AT for video gaming, with one of the leading experts on the topic, Mark Barlet from the Ablegamers Foundation!  The MATP has rescheduled “Fun for Everyone: AT for Video Gaming for October 30th from 1:30pm-3:00pm Eastern Time.  You will hear about the importance of including people with disabilities in the world of gaming and review some assistive technology that can be used to create access for people with mobility disabilities. You will also learn about some access options for hearing, cognitive, and visual disabilities along with tips for which features to look for in video games.  Register today!


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