Upcoming Events

Inclusive Immersion: Inclusive Design of Immersive Content

Tuesday Nov 29th at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm UK

Register here!


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 will present 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.


About the Speakers

Dr Vanja Garaj, Brunel Design School, Brunel University London

Picture for text on rightDr Vanja Garaj is Director of Research and Reader in Design at Brunel Design School, Brunel University London. Previously, he was Head of Design at Brunel. Vanja’s research spans the areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human Factors, User Experience (UX) and Inclusive Design. He specialises in the user requirements capture and analysis, systems design, UX design and user evaluation applied to the development of novel products, services and experiences—with the current focus on different uses of immersive technologies.


Dr Kate Mesh, Open Inclusion

Profile photo of Kate Mesh, Ph.D., CPACC

Kate is a Senior Inclusive Researcher at the consultancy, Open Inclusion. She has over 15 years of experience as a communication researcher, studying how people with disabilities —especially people with deafness and hearing loss — understand and create rich, multi-layered messages using their hands, bodies, and voices.


Dr John Dudley, Engineering Design Centre, University of Cambridge

Picture for text on rightJohn Dudley is an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Cambridge. His research focusses on the design of interactive systems that dynamically adapt to user needs and behaviours.




Past Events

Community Discussion on Audio Cues in Virtual Environments

September 22, 2022

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…)

Accessible XR Summer Research Program | Final Presentations

August 5, 2022

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!

Register for the presentations here > (more…)

Inclusive User Testing in VR @ MIT Reality Hack

August 9, 2022

Completed as part of the MIT 2022 Reality Hack, “Inclusive User Testing in VR” is an accessible in-game tool that allows general audiences to give feedback on VR projects. Users can use a variety of input methods, including voice-to-text and VR keyboards, and also includes screen reader support for low-vision individuals. This functionality allows researchers, developers, and designers to receive immediate, asynchronous feedback on their VR projects via a web-based dashboard. In this talk, we will cover not only the value that this tool brings to a diverse number of XR creators, but how this hackathon project went from an initial concept to a usable tool over the course of many development iterations and direct involvement from the accessibility community. Register for the talk here. (more…)

Inclusion and Accessibility in XR: Exploring Experiences | Reginé Gilbert

July 19, 2022

This talk will review what inclusion and accessibility mean for extended reality and the metaverse. By examining existing heuristics and researching existing methods for accessibility, the discovery has been made that new principles need to be adopted to create more equitable experiences. We will discuss ongoing research on accessible augmented reality. Register for the talk here. (more…)

Exploring Barriers in XR | Jamie Knight + Lion

May 25, 2022

XR and the metaverse introduces a whole new realm for users to explore; It brings new barriers and opportunities.

The BBC has just published the XR barrier research project to identify some of the most common barriers. In this talk Jamie & Lion share their experiences leading the project and share insights in building XR experiences for audiences anew.


Making Virtual Reality More Accessible for Persons with Balance Impairments | Dr. John Quarles

June 21, 2022

Although consumer level virtual reality (VR) head mounted displays (HMDs) (e.g., HTC Vive) are becoming more prevalent today, these VR developers typically do not consider persons with disabilities, such as persons with balance impairments (e.g., persons with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, or stroke). Thus, many immersive VR applications, such as education, physical fitness, rehabilitation, and entertainment, are not accessible to users with balance impairments. (more…)

Multimedia for Deaf Viewers | Dr. Raja Kushalnagar

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) people have relied on assistive and accessible technologies/services to consume or produce aural information. Some hard-of-hearing people rely on an assistive technology approach to enhance aural information for easier perception and understanding. Other hard of hearing and most deaf people rely on an accessible technology approach to transform the aural information into visual or tactile information for easier perception and understanding. (more…)

XR Access Quarterly Showcase | Spring 2022

March 24, 2022

Are you curious about how XR Access is working toward creating immersive technologies that are usable and accessible to all? Want to learn more about XR Access’s leaders and goals?

Jump in to XR Access’s Spring Quarterly Showcase to hear how we’re working toward XR accessibility, and get a preview of what we’re looking forward to in the next quarter.


XR Access @ MIT Reality Hack | XR Accessibility Workshop

March 23, 2022

Hackathons are a fantastic opportunity to explore new technologies. Immersive technologies like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (collectively eXtended Reality or XR) are no exception; the ability to immerse a user in a new environment or bring data right to a user’s eyes and fingertips have excited imaginations for years.

This workshop presented at the 2022 MIT Reality Hacks event shows you how to incorporate accessibility into a hackathon prototype.


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