GDC 2021 Roundtable : Accessibility—Where to Next? | Recap

GDC Roundtable Accessibility, Where to Next? IGDA-GASIG Recap. Space and planet background.

The IGDA-GASIG had the pleasure to host a roundtable at GDC 2021 about the current state of game accessibilty as well as our hopes and motivations for the future of gaming.

Unfortunately, these roundtables are not recorded, so we invite you to read the notes below if you want to have a summary of the subjects that were discussed:

What is the current state of accessibility in games?

How do I make things better in my professional space (like making tools more accessible, etc) & creating space for people with disabilities?

There is power in numbers. Find allies within your organization and together you can spread awareness as well as finding solutions as a group, instead of scratching  your head alone and feeling helpless. Obviously, having disabled colleagues who feel included is key — remember that most often than not, barriers are what prevents someone from working efficiently. Workspaces and tools are oftentimes made to fit the needs of non-disabled professionals — which means your company may be missing out on skilled and talented individuals, due to unnecessary barriers.

Also that small accessibility team that Unity hired, that Ameliane mentioned earlier… while they are working on tools to help developers with their own accessibility efforts, their primary function is making the editor itself accessible to disabled developers. They want feedback from developers on both of those things, if you have any thoughts on them email

What is the most effective method of providing feedback?

Gathering internal feedback, coffee chats, surveys, etc. External : partner with your user research (if applicable, if you don’t have a user research department, feel free to reach out to consultants for assistance) to work with the players community. Do this at any stage of the development. It is difficult to ignore someone who is talking to you directly about what is happenign to them! It’s always better and important to include players with disabilities in studies, especially if specifically focused on game accessibility.


Mentions of challenges for: Horror games, souls games & smaller teams

Sometimes you have to start where people are. It has to be backed in or otherwise you add extra work that feels overwhelming and discouraging for the team. It takes a while for an organization to grow in maturity when it comes to accessibilty. Take it one step at a time.

It does require knowledge and speciality, and that can be scary. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. And remember, accessibility is design intentions.

Closing statement:

The U in UX/UR/UI doesn’t stand for “users who don’t currently have some kind of impairment.

Additional links mentionned:

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