[games_access] Game Accessibility SIG Elections have started - Please Read :)

Sheri Rubin sheri at designdirectdeliver.com
Tue Oct 19 00:37:49 EDT 2010

Hi Game Accessibility SIG members!

*The elections have started. They end on October 29th. Voting is underway!
My crack team (Andrew) was able to take the subscriber list of emails
and add anyone to the website whose email matched an email in the system
to the Game Accessibility SIG group. Then anyone whose account was shown
to be a Full paid member was also placed in a sub-group for voting. You
should have received an email today that says "IGDA: New Forum thread in
IGDA Game Accessibility SIG Voting Group". That is the email that will
give you the links to the candidate statements and the voting links.

So that's the good news.

The bad news is that some of you are inevitably going to say that you're
a full paid member and should be able to vote but didn't get that email.
If that's true and you do not receive an email today please send me an
email *OFF-LIST* that tells me this. There are three likely reasons for

1) You are not a full, standard paid member (free and student members do
not get to vote) after all. But hey, we warned you.

2) You registered to this mailing list with an email that does not
correspond to the email used with your membership for IGDA/the one you
registered to the website for. We did not try and figure out which extra
emails (the ones with no accounts associated to them) belonged to people
registered on the website. Especially since after looking at the list it
seems some of you register with many emails. :)

3) The IGDA database hasn't fully been cleaned up and at some point you
registered to the IGDA website with the email you registered to this
list with and so we have you down as a free user because we didn't have
your email that shows you as a standard member. (Similar to #2 but this
means you also have an extra account and you'll show up in the group
with that email.)

Everyone but #1 can be addressed for these elections, but we still
encourage you to join the IGDA and fix #1 for next time. :>

Since not everyone has access to the elections sub group below are the
candidate statements for Kevin, Barrie, Tara, and Sandra who were the
four who stepped up to run for steering committee this time around (in
alphabetical order):

*Kevin Bierre:*

I have been a member of the IGDA and active in the Game Accessibility
SIG since 2003. I have had an interest in accessibility as a result of
working with students with various disabilities in my programming and
database courses. I also have three sons with disabilities who are avid
gamers and I have seen some of their struggles with certain games.

An area of game accessibility that I feel needs to be addressed is the
education of current and aspiring game designers and developers in
methods of making their games accessible. I have participated in some of
the educational activities such as doing tutorials at GDC and other
conferences, as well as writing articles on accessibility.

However, there is more that could be done in this area, such as
providing curriculum materials on accessibility to schools with game
design and development program. Having a set of online tutorials, how to
examples, and other reference materials readily available would also
help get the message out to developers.

Finally, I think the SIG needs to actively pursue partnerships with game
companies to promote the inclusion of accessible features in their
games. The recent accessibility roundtable that Microsoft held was a
great step in this direction, but there are many other firms that we
should communicate with.

Kevin Bierre
Associate Professor
Interactive Games and Media Department
Rochester Institute of Technology

*Barrie Ellis:*

I'd be very happy to become part of the steering committee, but don't
really have time to do the important job of Chair justice. I've learnt
tons from the IGDA's GASIG and met some really fantastic people through
it. Should I become chair, I would be seeking to put in place some
building blocks for a better web-site, and ways to bring more people in.
I would aim to boost recognition of our membership base on-site and then
seek to concentrate our efforts on a small number of projects we feel
are of the greatest importance at this interim stage. Basic stuff, but
hopefully a helpful stepping stone to better things.

Barrie Ellis (of www.OneSwitch.org.uk <http://www.OneSwitch.org.uk/> -
and member of www.GameBase.info <http://www.GameBase.info/>)

*Tara Tefertiller:*

The first step in electing a successful steering committee is voting for
people who show that they have the dedication to game accessibility
needed to make the GA SIG a productive body. I have such dedication.

I have worked for AbleGamers.com <http://AbleGamers.com/> as a writer. I
reviewed AAA titles on multiple platforms, conducted interviews of
gamers with disabilities and how it effected their play, and wrote
articles on gaming news such as the iBraille app (a conversation piece
about how touch screens can effect the blind) and Wii-hab (using the wii
for rehabilitation purposes).

I've also shown that I can step up and take responsibility as needed, as
demonstrated when I filled in for Michelle Hinn at GDC 2010 and ran her
poster session. It was very successful and even covered by Gamespot.

I also work hard to educate students on game accessibility. I've already
been a speaker at International Academy of Design & Technology, where I
also mentor students. I also have ties to Full Sail and UCF, where I am
currently in the process of becoming a guest speaker as well.

Further more, I have shown the responsibility needed to work at large
events with big partners. I am currently working with the Orlando
Science Center to make the game accessibility exhibit for their video
game week, Otronicon. I have currently challenged the students at Full
Sail to design accessible games, and the one found the most accessible
will be displayed at Otronicon.

I am an active member of not just the SIG and it's email thread, but the
IGDA itself. Since moving to Orlando, I have made it to every chapter

I believe that the education SIG and the GA SIG should work together and
educate tomorrow's work force about accessibility. I have spoken to
education SIG members who agree. I would work towards making this a
reality. The SIG could really take advantage of my proximity to two
gaming schools.

I think it would be a great idea to have an accessibility tie in with
the annual Global Game Jam.

Further more, I would push that SIG becomes more involved in the Orlando
Chapter of IGDA, due to it's ties with the local gaming schools. Both a
large amount of students and teachers frequent the chapter meetings.

Thank you for your time.

*Sandra Uhling:*

I am learning about Game Accessibility since two years. I would like to
move this very important topic forward. Game Accessibility improves the
overall quality of games. It is useful for everyone. But this topic is
not easy for people who never looked into this topic. To make a change
we have to support game designer and game developer.

That's all you basically need to know. Thanks for reading all that.

Have fun and happy voting!

P.S. For the one who won't get elected this time around - don't fret!
The ones who do usually make it a point to call on those who don't first
to make sure they get put to work right away! :)

*Sheri Rubin*
Founder and CEO

*Design Direct Deliver*
Website: http://www.designdirectdeliver.com
Email: sheri at designdirectdeliver.com <mailto:sheri at designdirectdeliver.com>
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