Game Accessibility Conference 2017

Reads hash-tag G.A. Conf. Advancing accessibility for gamers with disabilities. I.G.D.A. International Game Developers' Association. Game Accessibility Special Interest Group.

GAConf 2017 is a day of talks and networking exploring recent and future advancements in the field of game accessibility. Updates, case studies, and in-depth guides.

Covering a wide range of topics, such as accessibility as a micro-indie, designing for older gamers, blind gaming, Uncharted 4's accessibility features, and the challenges of retrofitting accessibility into a live product. Latest updates on Twitter and a full-break down of the day planned here.

Mon, February 27, 2017
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM PST

The History of Special Needs Technology in the UK

Two children using a TRS-80 concept keyboard to type fully formed words on a green-screen monitor. A blocky picture of a dog above a line, with the text here is, is displayed.

Tomorrow at the BETT show at the ExCel London in the Learn Live: SEN area (C438 near entrance N9), Open University Professor, Jane Seale will be presenting...

Learning from our histories: What can we draw from the experiences of experts in the field of special needs and technology that can inform our future practice?

Between 10:30 and 11 Jane will draw on examples from interviews she has conducted with 45 experts who have worked in the field of SEN and technology from the 1970's onwards. She will use the examples to discuss what we can learn from these histories to inform future practice.

You can follow this fascinating project at Jane's blog, "The History of Special Needs Technology in the UK".

An outline of a red bulb, with black text reading, "Brilliant Computing 1987 Catalogue. Switches, adaptors and computer software for the BBC Micro computer for special needs. PO Box 142, Bradford, BD3 0JN.


Xbox One Co-Pilot Accessibility Feature

Co-Pilots Han-Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon - going int hyper-drive with stars all around them. Representing the Xbox One feature Co-Pilot to make gaming more accessible.

Exciting game accessibility news from David Dzumba at Microsoft, in the tentative partial launch of the Co-Pilot feature. This is the blurb:

"Enabling Xbox One to be accessible for everyone: One important area for us with this release is to enable Xbox One to be able to be used and played by everyone. Take for instance our new Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as if they were one. This will help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game and easier for players who need unique configurations to play — whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.. We are also adding new enhancements to Magnifier and Narrator, as well as giving more options over audio output and custom rumble settings on a controller, which was previously reserved for the Xbox Elite Controller. You can find these accessibility options, and more, in Settings and Ease of Access."

As well as the benefits of using two standard Xbox One controllers, it should also be possible to:

• Use one or two modified Xbox One controllers, using the likes of remapper flexi-pcbs.
• Use a standard controller alongside a non Xbox One controller using an adapter including the super-powerful Titan One.
• Mix all of this together.

"Check out accessibility news in this! "First Wave of New Xbox Update Features Ship to Select Xbox Insiders Today."


D.I.Y. Switch Access to PS4 and Xbox One Controllers

PS4 old-style controller flex

The German company my3dbase produce a number of "Easy Mapper"  (aka remapper) flex boards. These can be fitted to PS4 and Xbox One controllers (make sure you get precisely the right one) enabling easier access to wire up switch sockets and push-buttons. 

Brown flexi PCB insert for PS4 controllers for switch accessibility

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The Changes

Black background, with white O.C.R. font reading, The Changes, based on the classic science-fiction novels by Peter Dickinson. A green sepia image of a young girl looking troubled peers out of the blackness.

Apple Accessibility News

Image of a lady with head switches intently looking at a V D U.

'We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone' opens Apple's new accessibility pages. If only more companies felt that way.

Nice to see the Skoog in the Apple Accessibility shop at a very fair price. Pretorian iSwitch should be in there too ideally.

Hands Optional is a new Facebook support group for Apple switch users set up by Christopher Hills.

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2017 Test Card

1970s Science Fiction art of a long silvery wedge like car amongst admirers and other worldly vegetation and creatures.

Things on hold for a short-while whilst kicking off the flu. Not for long though... Good accessibility stuff to follow.



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