[games_access] games_access Digest, Vol 97, Issue 17

Ian Hamilton i_h at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 28 10:30:28 EST 2012




1. Games = information & communication (article 9)
Generally speaking I'd say games don't come under information and communication, unless it's something like WOW where they are then obviously a significant and relied on means of communication.
More relevant is article 30, equal access to cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport - games come under at least three and occasionally all four of these.
2. UN CRPD Vs USA legislation
It is indeed more far-reaching than the current USA legislation. The USA are signatories though, which in theory means it's only a matter of time until they ratify, and meanwhile they have committed to not put into place any law that contravenes the spirit of the convention.
If anyone hasn't heard of all this before, the full document is here (skip to article 30 for the juicy bit):
http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml

And the countries signed up to it are listed here:
http://www.un.org/disabilities/countries.asp?id=166

If a country is listed as a 'signatory', that means that they agree with it in principle, and the same things apply as mentioned above for the USA. If listed under 'ratified', this means they are completely signed up to it and have agreed to put specific laws in place in their own country to ensure that everything in the convention is legally binding.
I know there are a few people in the UK on this list, this next point isn't game related but you might still be interested to know that the UK is severely in breach of the convention. After ratifying the convention they brought the Equalities Act into effect, which is meant to enshrine everything in the convention in UK law but instead specifically exempts TV & radio broadcasters, a direct contravention of this line from article 30: "Enjoy access to television programmes, films, theatre and other cultural activities, in accessible formats;". Nice!
Also equal access Vs alternatives... see above, "in accessible formats". Looks like a pretty grey area, but it does explicitly say enjoying certain things in an accessible format, ie. enjoying a game in an accessible format.. as a book is just a book rather a game in an accessible format (does not match the minimum criteria for something to be considered a game), that much at least should be clear-cut.
3. open or provided to the public
That wording isn't used in article 30, so not an issue for games. Article 30 even specifically mentions schools:
"To ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities, including those activities in the school system"



> From: games_access-request at igda.org> Subject: games_access Digest, Vol 97, Issue 17

> To: games_access at igda.org

> Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 10:00:05 -0500

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> Today's Topics:

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> 1. UN CRPD Article 9 - Accessibility (Sandra Uhling)

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>

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------

>

> Message: 1

> Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 19:16:47 +0100

> From: "Sandra Uhling" <sandra_uhling at web.de>

> Subject: [games_access] UN CRPD Article 9 - Accessibility

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

> <games_access at igda.org>

> Message-ID: <006401ccf57b$f86828a0$e93879e0$@de>

> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>

> Hi,

>

> Some points to discuss:

>

> Point 1:

> Are games part of the information and communications technologies or / and

> services ?

>

> Point 2: Note "on an equal basis", this seems to be more than the regulation

> in the USA at the moment? Equal basis: same game, not alternatively a book

> ...?

>

> Point 3: "open or provided to the public":

> What about services provided for a certain group, not pulic?

> E.g. some certain education games in working places.

> Maybe "public" is not a good term for this? ;-)

>

>

> UN CRPD Article 9 - Accessibility:

> 1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate

> fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures

> to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with

> others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and

> communications, including information and communications technologies and

> systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the

> public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall

> include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to

> accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:

>

> Best regards,

> Sandra

>

>

>

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> End of games_access Digest, Vol 97, Issue 17

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