The AbleGamers Foundation has announced a new initiative: they’re establishing Player Panels to help make games more accessible.
The Player Panels, made up of gamers with disabilities, will be available to consult with game publishers (whether AAA or indie) and game researchers.
“I am thrilled that the game industry has reached a point where the needs of gamers with disabilities are being heard and that AbleGamers can partner with those in a position to best implement change,” said Steve Spohn, AbleGamers COO. “The AbleGamers Player Panels initiative ensures that game companies and researchers have direct access to people with disabilities, and vice versa, for an on-going dialogue on improving accessibility. It’s also very exciting that all organizations involved have agreed to compensate participating panelists for their time.”
With help from the University of York, the Player Panels members will use their personal experience with playing video games to help shape the future of game accessibility.
“For the last 12 years, AbleGamers’ in-house accessibility experts have provided game companies with critical input through our game accessibility reviews and Includification resources,” said Christopher Power, Vice President of AbleGamers and Lecturer at the University of York. “Player Panels is the natural progression of that program. All of our testers live with disabilities, which allows them to offer the game industry in-depth insight to potential solutions that may not be apparent to people who have studied, but have not experienced disability firsthand.”
To be a member of a Player Panel, a gamer needs only a “love of video games and some form of disability.” Interested gamers can sign up at www.ablegamers.org/player-panels.
The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides disabled gamers with assistive technologies and advises game developers on providing accessibility options. You can learn more about AbleGamers at www.ablegamers.org.