Developing For Different Types of Disabilities

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There are a number of different types of disabilities that can affect your users. Some basic tips are provided here for developing with each type in mind. More resources can be found here.


Auditory

"Memories of Half Life return to haunt us as yet another technological masterpiece [Halo] is useless to the deaf gamer... Let's hope, no pray! that if Halo 2 ever sees the light of day that it will be fully subtitled." - Deaf Gamers.com

When it comes to audio accessibility, there are three types of users:

Accessibility can provide a better user experience for all three.

Below are some common scenarios where audio issues might affect all three groups.

With some relatively minor work, you can make your game usable and enjoyable for someone with an audio impairment, as well as for your regular users!


Visual

"My presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session, and one notable moment occurred when one of the staffers asked a question about accessibility in [our] games... this 28-year-old staffer is an avid gamer who used to play [our game] with a wide circle of friends. Because he is color blind, however, it was hard for him to tell the good guys from the bad guys and the game finally became too frustrating. When the new version... came out and [we] hadn't fixed the problem, he and his friends all decided to buy a competitor's game instead." - Anonymous Industry Executive

When it comes to users in this category, there are many kinds:

Accessibility can provide a better user experience for all of these users.

Below are some common scenarios where visual issues might affect these groups.

With a few simple steps and features, you can make your game usable and enjoyable for someone with a visual impairment, as well as for your regular users!


Vocal

When it comes to vocal accessibility, there are three types of users:

Accessibility can provide a better user experience for all three.

Below are some common scenarios where speech issues might affect all three groups.

With some relatively minor work, you can make your game usable and enjoyable for all your users!


Dexterity

"My friend had been waiting for a particular game to ship for (literally) years. Two days before it came out, he severely cut his hand opening his brand new set of 'Miracle Blades.' (It's a 'Miracle' he didn't cut his fingers clean off.) While he said the cut was painful, it wasn't nearly as painful as not being able to play the game he had been looking forward to." - Brannon Zahand, Avid Gamer

When it comes to physical abilities, there are three types of users:

Accessibility can provide a better user experience for all three.

Below are some common scenarios where dexterity issues might affect all three groups.

Thinking about accommodating all these users is challenging, but there are some easy things you can keep in mind when developing your games:


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