[games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sun Nov 18 17:02:44 EST 2007

Great news re. Games for Health looking to invest in the GASIG and game
accessibility. Thank you - we need this!

Some personal thoughts on what we could do with the money if we were to
receive it....

1. Pay Michelle some cash back for the E for All whack. Sounds like we've
made some good contacts here, and raised our profile. It would be a shame to
see Michelle so badly out of pocket for her endeavours.

2. Keep the majority as a rolling fund for backing ways for us to reach out.
Consider advertising at key places. Look to more ways to raise further funds
to stop this running dry.

3. Consider hiring an artist for Game Accessibility icons for some kind of
PEGI system of accessibility: www.pegi.info/en/index/ - And also for
promotional usage. I still very much like the idea of approaching
Etherbrian: http://etherbrian.typepad.com/ - maybe others have some

4. Consider building a central hub web-site. Needs to be highly accessible -
and unlike www.game-accessibility.com - fully in the hands of the GASIG
community. I just don't find the WIKI that accessible personally.

5. Support hard-ware development and soft-ware development. This does not
need to cost buckets of cash. And here's my pitch - I need access to a
backward compatible PS3 and some of the various PS2 to PS3 joypad adapters.
This is in order to test out the variety of one-handed and alternative
controllers I support for compatibility. It's also to aid Geoff Harbach in
testing out his switch interface for PS3 use. So far, Sony have not even
replied to my e-mails, and I can't afford a PS2 compatible PS3...

I'd certainly like to proceed with "The Simpler Tack" of three simple
genres, three simple ways to make more accessible, with GASIG member
support. This would go up on the blog or web-site.

Anyway - thanks again!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Sawyer" <bsawyer at dmill.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 1:54 PM
Subject: [games_access] Games for Health to Invest in Games Accessibility

> 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.



> 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.



> 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.



> 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





> _______________________________________________

> games_access mailing list

> games_access at igda.org

> http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://seven.pairlist.net/pipermail/games_access/attachments/20071118/65b2ae70/attachment.html>

More information about the games_access mailing list