On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, Equal Entry Owner Thomas Logan presented “Why Wait? Let’s Make Virtual Reality Accessible Today!” at #a11yTOConf 2018. The premise of the talk was that we can apply a lot of existing accessibility guidelines to make virtual reality accessible.
Label Virtual Objects
The first section of the talk focused on having text alternatives available for all of the digital objects available in 3D worlds.
— Adrian Roselli 🗯 (@aardrian) October 16, 2018
There was a call to action request for everyone interested in getting this changed to vote up a Feature Request created on the Unity Feedback Forum.
— Thomas Logan (@TechThomas) October 16, 2018
Store User Preferences
The second section of the talk focused on the software platforms such as Unity and Unreal providing an API that allows developers to make use of various user settings and preferences at a system level. Preferences for High Contrast, Large Text, Font, Colorblindness, and Closed Captions would all be excellent additions to the developer environment.
— Julianna Rowsell (@JuliannaRowsell) October 16, 2018
Accessible User Interface Controls
The last section of the talk focused on getting programmatic access built into the user interface controls that are used to build interactions in virtual environments. GUI controls that support programmatic access will enable accessible experiences that work on laptop and mobile devices to also work in VR environments. Right now accessible component libraries are only available as paid assets rather than built into the authoring environment.
@ianpetrarca and I are going to be working with the creator of #aframe #vr GUI component framework @rolanddubois to make an ARIA implementation prototype https://t.co/m9JVqmu65y pic.twitter.com/xev9ahAjVF
— Thomas Logan (@TechThomas) October 18, 2018