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August 2019

Good morning <<First Name>>!

Are you as excited for the weekend as we are? It's hard to believe in this cold that we were at the beach 2 weeks ago- hoping it warms up again soon!

This month, we'd like to introduce you to James Harding, one of our hard-working Website Analysts.
 Photo of James in the outdoors smiling

Hi, my name is James, and I have been working with Web Key IT as a website analyst since April 2018. I have a background education in Information Technology and I’m passionate about most things related to technology. My interests include; playing football, learning to cook, revisiting old retro video games, gardening, and being out in nature.



 

Accessibility in Video Games


Video games have come a long way since the 1980’s when people were introduced to the wonderful world of gaming with titles such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario Bros. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the gaming industry gathered momentum, becoming mainstream and common place in many households. Fast forward to today - the gaming industry is now the number one source of entertainment with Australian consumers spending $3.23 billion in 2017 on games and hardware, a 9% increase on the previous year. By comparison, the gross theatre box office spending in Australia was approximately $1.2 billion for the same year. Just as movies and TV require closed captioning (CC) for accessibility, it is equally important to consider the accessibility requirements for games.
 
Game accessibility refers to the accessibility of video games. It is considered a sub-field of computer accessibility and refers to the accessibility of all gaming-related products. It can be described by providing as many players as possible with the best opportunity of completely experiencing a game. It is estimated that 1 in 5 gamers have a physical, mental or developmental disability. Many gamers with disabilities often struggle to bypass certain sections of games because the game does not flex to fit their abilities. For example, a game may require the player to rapidly tap a button in order to perform an action. Unfortunately, this action may be too difficult to perform for reasons such as decreased muscle control. In these situations, the player is forced to either ask someone for assistance or simply give up. Perhaps in these situations, it may be beneficial to have the option to change the interaction mechanics. For example, instead of the player having to rapidly tap a button, they could press and hold the button.
 
There are of course many other accessibility issues that require consideration. These include:
  • Visual impairment - for example, use a high contrast colour scheme, increase font size, and provide accessible zoom options.
  • Hearing impairment - for example, use accurate subtitles or closed captioning, audio cues, sonification, speech synthesis, or haptic cues.
  • Motor impairments - for example, provide support for alternative inputs such as voice, or brain-computer interface (BCI).
  • Cognitive impairment - for example, reduce time constraints or provide alternative pathways to complete an objective in the game.
With the growing awareness in accessibility, game developers are continuously innovating in order to provide more players with a wider range of accessibility options. In September 2018, the video gaming brand Xbox released the Xbox Adaptive Controller which was designed for people with disabilities to help make user input for video games more accessible.

UK-based charity, SpecialEffect uses the myGaze Software Development Kit (SDK) platform to enable eye-tracking / gaze control for existing games, such as the very popular sandbox-style game - Minecraft. Players can move throughout the game and interact with objects using a combination of eye movement and gazing.

Some gamers enjoy games which offer an escape, whether from physical or psychological pain, and others as simply a fun way to pass the time. It is important that game developers invest time to consider and implement accessibility to help provide players with the best opportunity of experiencing the game.


If you'd like our talented Website Analysts to have a look at your website, contact us for a quote today.

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Research Surveys

Web Key IT are conducting research to understand the current trends in digital accessibility from the point of view of both the organisation and that of the individual using websites, applications etc.  We have two really short surveys (about 5 minutes) and we are hoping that we get sufficient response to collate meaningful and current data.  Would you please complete it? Also, if you’d send it to your own lists, we would be very appreciative.  We will make the results available for everyone via our website.  Thanks so much for your help and distribution.

If you represent both yourself and your organisation, you are welcome to complete both surveys.  Please contact us at info@webkeyit.com if you want any information about the surveys.

For Individuals: Understanding the Digital User Experience

For Organisations: Digital Accessibility for Organisations



YouTube Channel

Our new YouTube Channel is live! We've got our first video up there now, with more to come.


Training Dates

Dates: Every Thursday, October 3rd – 31st

Location: ATI Mirage, Cloisters, Level 1/863 Hay St, Perth WA

Times: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Cost:

  • $3250 per person (excl. GST) includes all learning materials, lunch, and morning & afternoon tea
  • 2nd person from same organisation $3,000 (excl. GST)
  • 4 people from same organisation $2700 each (excl. GST)
  • ACS Members – discount of $100 ($3150 each)
  • Discount for WALGA Members of 5% ($3088 each)

 Register and information enquiries to training@webkeyit.com
 


WALGA Preferred Supplier

Web Key IT is now a member of the 'Audit & Compliance Services' supplier list which is provided by the WALGA Preferred Supplier Arrangement. If you are a WALGA member, you are able to access our services directly through eQuotes.  More information on the Arrangement is available at WALGA Preferred Supplier Program. If you are a member of the Panel, you don’t need to source additional quotes, saving you time, risk and money.

From the Director's Chair director's chair icon

I am currently having a little holiday down in Hopetoun, on the south coast of WA, between Albany and Esperance.  The weather has been marvellous and I am constantly amazed at the beauty of this glorious region.  Hopetoun adjoins the Fitzgerald National Park which is its own biosphere and there hundreds of plants found here and nowhere else in the world – amazing! 
 
On August 24th, Amanda and I will be heading to Bologna in Italy to present two papers on assistive technology at the AAATE Conference mentioned in the upcoming events.  It is exciting to see organisations look at how to better employ people with disabilities and determine which assistive technology will best suit the different employment situations. I will let you know about all of the exciting new innovations we discover in AT while in Italy – might even make you jealous with a little description of the food and scenery in Italy.

Arrivederci!

-Vivienne

Upcoming Events Green Calendar Icon Graphic

Monthly Perth Web Accessibility & Inclusive Design Meetup

20th of August, 2019

Dome Cafe

149 James Street, Northbridge WA

Read more about the Accessibility Meetup group

AAATE 2019 Conference

27th-30th of August 2019

Bologna, Italy

More information here

Australian Access Awards

3rd of December 2019

Online

Nominations Close: Friday 30th August 2019

More information here

Australasian Conference on Information Systems

9th-11th of December, 2019

Fremantle, WA

Register Here

Australian Accessibility Conference

(OZeWAI and PWAC)

11th-13th February 2020

Perth, WA

More information here

 

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If you haven't already, take a look at our Facebook page for daily updates and some excellent accessibility articles and resources, there really is a lot on there. We also have Twitter, LinkedIn and our new YouTube Channel which has just launched!. All these links are below for future reference, so have a click around, and share this with your friends.

Please do remember to take a moment to look at our website and as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!
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