[games_access] WoW accessible for blind gamers?

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 8 10:25:04 EST 2012

Nice to hear from you John.
It depends on country too, countries who have ratified the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities (hundreds of countries are signed up) are contractually bound to put into place laws that support the convention's statements that disabled people have the right to equal participation in culture and recreational activities and equal access to information and communication technologies and systems, recognising the importance of having a life Vs having an existence.
The USA is (no surprises here) lagging behind most of the world, but it is already a signatory, meaning that it agrees in principle with the convention and is working towards ratifying it in the future.
But once ratified, something like WOW which is a widespread leisure activity, cultural phenomenon and communication and social technology would be bound by the convention from several different angles.
There are certainly many aspects of WOW that could be blind-accessible with not a great deal of cost, that currently aren't.. see IBM's blind-accessible second life proof of concept for a nice example.

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> Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2012 17:00:18 -0800

> From: "John Porter" <jrporter at uw.edu>

> Subject: Re: [games_access] WoW accessible for blind gamers?

> To: "'IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List'"

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> I remember back in 2009 when Alex Stern filed suit against SOE because he

> was unable to play Everquest. The case was rather promptly thrown out of

> court (unsurprisingly) because games --even MMOs-- are not considered places

> of 'public accommodation' and therefore aren't covered by the Americans with

> Disabilities Act. Perhaps the judicial system in other countries might react

> differently, but at least in the US, the discrimination angle doesn't seem

> viable right now.


> Schools are an ENTIRELY different story, though. If a game became part of

> the mainstream curriculum in a public classroom, then the ADA would be

> directly applicable and it would be a fairly open and shut case.


> [Also, hey everyone! First time poster here).

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