A very important topic at our university is accessibility, particularly web accessibility. So much of our information today is online, it’s critical that it be available in a usable format to the widest possible audience. Factor in Penn State offered nearly 2000 online courses in fall 2011/spring 2012, it’s imperative that online courseware also follow accessibility standards so we can best serve the needs of our students. As someone that both uses and advocates games in the classroom, I felt somewhat isolated because very little is publicized about accessibility and games.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to see someone recently publish a guide to making accessible games. The guide is structured similar to the approach we take to accessibility here at Penn State. Currently, we’re working to implement the basic accessibility standards, things that are easily implemented in standard web development practices. We hope to move to a future where accessibility is taken into consideration very early in a project, therefore additional accessibility features can be included. The game accessibility guide is structured in a similar with, with 3 ‘tiers’ of accessibility for game design, beginning with the things that are easily implemented, going all the way to things that are “Complex adaptations for profound impairments and specific niche mechanics”. If you use games for education, or if you build games and want to make them available for a wider audience, definitely check out the guide.