AbleGamers Foundation, the charity and organization wielding the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities, has announced Player Panels, a new initiative which partners AbleGamers and its community with leading publishers, AAA to indie developers and leading researchers to ensure game accessibility is at the forefront of game development.
Steve Spohn, AbleGamers COO shared:
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. 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.
Working with the University of York, AbleGamers’ Player Panels enlists gamers with disabilities to work with video game companies and researchers directly to help lead the charge in improved accessibility technologies and game design practices. Player Panels team members will leverage their personal challenges (due to their various disabilities) faced while playing games, helping enhance and shape and the future of game accessibility based on real-world, first-hand experiences.
“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.”
AbleGamers’ Player Panels will connect disabled gamers and top organizations that share the mutual goal of making sure as many people as possible can game regardless of their disability. Player Panels team member qualifications only require a love of video games and some form of disability. Those approved will be compensated for their time and expertise. Gamers with disabilities who are interested in joining can sign up today at www.ablegamers.org/player-panels.