XR Access and XR Association are proud to present the next entry in the Community Discussion series: Captions! Leading with short presentations from captioning experts Yao Ding, Brenden Gilbert, and Lily Bond, this discussion gave you, our community, the opportunity to shape best practices for generating, presenting, and publishing captions in XR experiences.
On July 28th at 12pm PT/3pm ET, Sandra Feng and Cole Heiner of Cognixion presented on groundbreaking design work using assistive reality and brain-computer interfaces to advance face-to-face communication solutions for persons with Cerebral Palsy, ALS and Locked-in Syndrome.
On July 18th, 2023, our XR Open Source Fellows Savio Menifer, Shivam Sharma, and Yuvraj Kadale presented their code and prototypes for accessible captions, locomotion, and display settings respectively, made in collaboration with Equal Entry.
As virtual reality (VR) technology becomes more pervasive, it continues to find multiple new uses
beyond research laboratories. One of them is distance adult education—the potential of VR to
provide valuable education experiences is massive, despite the current barriers to its widespread
application. Nevertheless, recent trends demonstrate clearly that VR is on the rise in education
settings, and VR-only courses are becoming more popular across the globe. This trend will continue
as more affordable VR solutions are released commercially, increasing the number of education
institutions that benefit from the technology. No accessibility guidelines exist at present that are
created specifically for the implementation of specific accessibility features for VR hardware and
software in distance education. The purpose of this workshop is to address this niche and formulate
a set of practical guidelines and its implementations for the use of VR in distance adult education to
make it accessible to a wider range of people.
To make it happen we would like to invite researchers and practitioners who represent the fields of
distance education, virtual reality, and accessibility, as well as those with combined experience in
these areas. We encourage people that are interested in new forms of distance education to join our
debate on the opportunities and challenges of the application of VR in their fields—even if they lack
prior experience with the technology.
The XR Community Discussion on Haptics took place on February 28th at 11am PT / 2pm ET and featured presentations from leading industry figures Bob Crockett, Ashley Huffman, and Dhruv Jain, followed by an open audience discussion of best practices for addressing how haptics can help XR utilize the sense of touch for immersion and accessibility.
How can augmented reality amplify vision to support obstacle navigation for people with limited sight? Join UC Berkeley researcher and XR Access Head of Community and Outreach Dylan Fox to learn about Augmented Reality Obstacle Avoidance. This research project showcases the opportunities and challenges faced in leveraging AR as an assistive technology, such as using digital cues to improve the contrast of physical obstacles and pointing out hazards that users might miss. With AR devices growing ever more popular, this work hints at how they may follow the smartphone in becoming powerhouses of accessible technology.
Inclusive Immersion (2019-2023) and Towards an Equitable Social VR (2022-2025) investigate the barriers to inclusion in VR and AR for people with disabilities and older people and seek to propose solutions for improving the accessibility of immersive interfaces and content. The two R&D projects are managed by the Brunel Design School, Brunel University London and the Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the project consortium partners Open Inclusion, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Digital Catapult and Meta. The projects are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK. The talk presented an overview of both projects and the user research carried out to date, including the recently completed VR/AR usability study that involved 40 users across the disability spectrum.
As we continue to explore bringing accessibility to XR technology, we identified the need to examine audio cues in immersive environments. XRA and XR Access partnered to host a 90-minute session comprised of industry experts and the public to identify if lessons learned in the application of audio cues in 2D games can be applied to immersive experiences to benefit the blind and low vision communities. Nearly 70 people registered for the event, and we were joined by three featured speakers to probe into the topic. A recording of the session can be viewed here. Notes from the session, including helpful resources, relevant links, discussion topics, and transcripts, can all be found here. (more…)
Each summer, Cornell Tech and Columbia University welcome undergraduates from across the country to their campuses for a NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in accessible XR.
This year, eight students spent the summer learning research methods, building prototypes, and testing new ideas for projects that make XR more accessible to people with disabilities.
You’re invited to view final presentations from the REU project groups on Friday, August 5th at 1pm ET. Students will provide background on their projects and demonstrate the technologies they’ve created. Please join us in congratulating our hard-working students on their successes during this program!