[games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

"~:'' ありがとうございました "~:'' ありがとうございました
Sat Nov 17 03:40:15 EST 2007


a huge congratulations!

do you already have a resource of health games?
well ok accessible health games might be shorter?

but there's a huge market out there and much work and commitment.

regards

Jonathan Chetwynd
Accessibility Consultant on Media Literacy and the Internet


On 16 Nov 2007, at 13:54, Ben Sawyer wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've got some big news. As many of you saw Games for Health is part
of a new round of investment by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
into games and healthcare. We're extremely excited about this new
development.

As part of our specific grant we have allocated resources
specifically to support the IGDA Accessibility community.

Over the next two years we will directly contribute funds to SIG
activities. The amount is set but I can't reveal it yet as much as I
want to because I'm actually looking to make it more by finding some
other organizations who will join us with matching funds. Right now
I can tell you this - it's more then $10,000.

The funds will be used to support your activities but there are of
course some simple strings. Basically the funds will be released
once there is a written plan in place that provides for how and what
the funds will be spent on. That plan needs my approval and
subsequently I have to have the approval of the foundation for all my
work. I don't want it to sound dictatorish -- I'm pretty liberal for
what they should be used for but my basic goals are as follows:

1. I'd like to see the community double is size as outlined by some
simple metrics (i.e. number of subscribers to the listserv, number of
people in the industry you are in regular contact with, number of
talks in front of audiences, etc.)

2. I'd like to see the community produce some written plans that
outline roadmaps for better accessibility efforts -- especially
research roadmap.

3. I want to establish a standalone conference on games accessibility
attached to our Games for Health Conference (so we can combine
logistics and hit on overlapping communities of interest).

4. I am also specifically interested in identifying and doing what we
can to nurture research into how accessibility to games improves
people with disabilities mentally, socially, and physically.
Eventually leading to some great empirical and evidence based
research published - to the extent we don't already have this.

Beyond those goals I look to everyone here in the community to really
drive things. So the restriction is the production of a plan that
seems smartly aimed toward these goals. Within that framework the
funds can support travel subsidies, creating really nice brochures,
improved Web site content and access, etc.

I've already discussed the gist of this with Michelle and I've asked
her to produce with everyones help the plan and present it to me
before the end of the year. The funds are for 2008 and 2009.

Games Accessibility Conference
I am very serious as I've said before in establishing a one-day
conference on games accessibility along side our Games for Health
Conference. We have facilities, hotel blocks, registration systems,
logistical support, massive PR support, already in place for this.

The date to hold this would be May 7, 2008 which is the day before
Games for Health opens. It would be a one day conference with a
single track to start and a demo area. We would also probably
feature 2 sessions on accessibility at Games for Health on Thursday
and Friday. I hope this date works for everyone as much as possible
- I can't really move it. Hopefully it just works as best it can.
In 2009 we hope to have more flexibility for you.

I want the SIG to take on the role of developing the content. My
only stipulation is 25% of the content MUST be focused on talks that
explore how accessibility technologies, research, and efforts can be
applied to health for people with permanent, temporary, or on-setting
disabilities. The rest of the content can be focused on core needs,
case studies, research, etc. that will improve the accessibility of
games in general for any purpose -- especially entertainment.

Speakers would attend for free. All other registrants would be
charged an amount <$200 to attend. My goal is that the event be
break-even or even profitable within itself. I would share 50% of
the profits from the event back to the SIG by adding it to the grant
funds we have available. The other funds if there is a profit would
be reinvested for planning the following year, etc.

We very much want to make this event happen. The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation team we work with has someone on it with deep contacts in
the accessibility community and is going to talk with a variety of
government agencies involved with accessibility to drive them to
support this event. That becomes a doorway to driving them to
support more pervasive accessibility activities.

We will be promoting this event heavily to all our attendees. We
will be filming parts of it, we will make an expo area available to
showcase work, and we will have dedicated PR staff on the event.

The event is to be held in Baltimore, MD which is served by Southwest
Airlines which makes it pretty inexpensive to get to. We are also
quite proximate to the federal government which is a big plus. We've
got two hotels blocked out and we're searching for an ultra
inexpensive block as well.

My goal is to have 50-100 people attend the event. My hopes are
25-50% stay over for the rest of our event that week so yes from a
total transparency standpoint I'm hoping this increases my
conference's core profitability. Win-win.

If there is a good sense we can pull of the conference idea as
planned I want to make it part of our conference announcements in the
coming weeks. I also will be including games accessibility in our
call for content next week. We expect to then forward those papers
to a committee formed here to accept and mold that content. I will
advise you on content just from my experience of organizing events
but other then the 25% requirement I really leave it to you as the
experts to decide what will be important for people to hear and learn
from.

BIG NEEDS
So hopefully you're still digesting this all but the reason I'm
writing this all and providing as much information as I can is I need
the following help - please reply to the list with your thoughts:

1. I do need general feedback - ask questions, provide comments, I
will do my best to answer them.

2. I need NAMES of people you think are in a position or at
organizations in a position to possibly decide to match our funds. I
really want our funds to catalyze others to chip in. There is no
reason this can't eventually snowball to generate over $100,000 or
more in due time. At least that's my hope.

I am already reaching out to Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, IBM and a few
others. The early reception has been ok but until we release this
more publicly I expect things to be slow to develop. If you give me
more names I'll follow up hard.

FUTURE PLANS
The basic outline for this all for me is as follows:

1. I want to announce the funds and the goals for them before Xmas.
My goal is we have 2 other funders matching 50% or more of the funds
by then so they can be named in the Press Release.

2. I want to then announce in the press release that the original
funders are challenging anyone else with resources to join this
funding -- as part of this I was thinking it'd be cool to setup an
individual fundraising effort too - let gamers, and individual
developers provide funds to match the larger gifts.

3. In order to accomplish points 1 & 2 the goal would be to have a
basic plan in place because the core goals of that plan would be
articulated to the public so they can understand what the funds will
hopefully accomplish. Ultimately if we raised enough my hopes are it
would accomplish funding development of more accessibility
technologies, standards, and SDKs to make it easier for all game
developers to put these features in their games. I also hope it
might fund prototypes or games that are specific for people with
disabilities like some of the audio only games we've seen from the
community thus far.

THANK YOU
I've been following the work of the SIG and all of you here for
sometime. As I've said many times the work here is extremely
relevant to the work I do on serious games, and games for health.
I've been hoping to bring some funds to the table to help and while
it's not as much as I wanted if I can parlay it with your help into a
large enough amount it hopefully can help be the fuel for the spark
you've more then created.

Thank you all,

Ben




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