Resources2021-07-19T19:05:04+00:00

Resources

This list of resources represents a sample of other accessible XR projects, and resources to help ensure that XR is accessible to all.

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Guidelines

A Practical Guide to Inclusive UX Research

A number of practical guidelines developed by a group of experience researchers and assembled by Medium can help organizations adopt inclusive research practices. These can be applied to any technology domain, including XR.

A Practical Guide to Inclusive UX Research

Oculus Guidelines for Designing Accessible VR

This set of guidelines for Oculus developers can help them design and build more inclusive applications.

Oculus Guidelines for Designing Accessible VR

XR Collaboration Guide – Designing for Accessibility & Inclusion

The XR Collaboration Resource Guide was developed by XR Ignite. It is an interactive and comprehensive online tool that helps companies utilize XR collaboration and remote work tools for businesses. There is a chapter that highlights the importance of accessibility and inclusive design (and was authored with input from XR Access).

XR Collaboration Guide – Designing for Accessibility & Inclusion

10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Virtual Reality – Nielsen Norman Group

Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can improve the user experience of VR applications.

10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Virtual Reality – Nielsen Norman Group

W3C Real-Time Communication Accessibility User Requirements

This document from the W3C outlines various accessibility related user needs, requirements and scenarios for real-time communication (RTC). These user needs should drive accessibility requirements in various related specifications and the overall architecture that enables it.

W3C Real-Time Communication Accessibility User Requirements

Magic Leap Best Practices for Accessibility Guide

Basic guidelines offered by Magic Leap to help make content accessible to all users including people with disabilities.

Magic Leap – Best Practices Guide for Accessibility

XRA Developers Guide: Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences

In October 2020, the XR Association (XRA) released an update to the XRA Developers Guide, a starter guide for developers designing reality-expanding experiences. This standalone update, “Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences,” offers a set of industry-backed best practices for developing accessible platforms that enhance experiences for all users, not just those with disabilities.

XRA Developers Guide: Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences

Accessibility of Virtual Reality Environments

The University of Melbourne’s Accessibility of Virtual Environments resource page provides in-depth guides for XR accessibility as it relates to cognition, vision, mobility, and more.

Learn more about Accessibility of VR Environments

Game Accessibility Guidelines

The Game Accessibility guidelines aim to be a straightforward reference for inclusive game design, and is a collaboration between game studios, researchers, and accessibility specialists.

Learn more about game accessibilty guidelines

VR & AR Accessibility

Compiled by Thomas Logan of Equal Entry, this list of resources helps developers apply existing accessibility guidelines to AR and VR development.

Learn more about VR & AR Accessibility

Accessible Player Experiences (APX)

Games’s Accessible Player Experiences (APX) site offers new ways to think about game accessibility, and provides design patterns and examples for designers and developers.

Learn more about Accessible Player Experiences (APX)

Xbox Accessibility Guidelines

Microsoft’s Xbox Accessibility Guidelines are a set of best practices created to help designers and developers generate ideas, create ‘guardrails’, and validate the accessibility of their games.

Learn more about Xbox Accessibility Guidelines
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Organizations

A11yVR – Accessibility Virtual Reality Group

The A11yVR group hosts regular meetups and discussions on how to make VR accessible.

A11yVR – Accessibility Virtual Reality Group

AbleGamers

AbleGamers provides custom video game equipment for people with disabilities, bringing inclusion and improved quality of life.

Learn more about AbleGamers

BBC Research & Development

The BBC’s Research & Development group has tested subtitles for 360-degree video content, with whitepapers on subtitle user experience and subtitle behavior available.

Learn more about BBC Research & Development

OpenInclusion

OpenInclusion’s accessibility consultancy services help business understand and build for people with disabilities.

Learn more about OpenInclusion
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Tools & Projects

WalkInVR Driver – Adapting VR Games for People with Disabilities

A driver that can help adapt VR environments and make games or software (on the SteamVR Platform) possible to play by people with physical disabilities. WalkinVR has been tested with Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, Valve Index.

WalkInVR Driver – Adapting VR Games for People with Disabilities

Gaze Detection Library

Javascript library built by Charlie Gerard that uses machine learning in JavaScript to detect eye movements and build gaze-controlled experiences.

Gaze Detection Library – GitHub

XR Distributed Research Network

XRDRN is a platform for researchers in the Cross-Reality (XR/VR/AR) discipline, created in response to the Covid-19 emergency lockdown. It provides a home for researchers to upload their current XR research projects and find participants for their research.

XR Distributed Research Network

Locomotion Vault

Locomotion Vault is a collection of VR locomotion techniques for a variety of development needs. Techniques can be filtered on a number of criteria, including accessibility. The collection was created in collaboration with Microsoft, and will be published in ACM CHI 2021.

Locomotion Vault

SeeingVR

The SeeingVR tool enhances VR applications for people with low vision by providing visual and audio augmentations, using both plugins and developer input.

Watch a video on SeeingVR
Read the research paper on SeeingVR

Immersive Accessibility

The ImAc project, funded by the EU, explores how accessibility services can be integrated with immersive media. Their subtitling projects show how text can augment 360° video.

Learn more about Immersive Accessibility

ImmersiaTV

ImmersiaTV creates an integrated toolset for producing and distributing immersive and interactive content across devices and formats.

Learn more about ImmersiaTV

PowerUp

IBM’s PowerUp game is a proof of concept for accessible 3D games and virtual worlds. The team has published several papers on their findings.

Learn more about PowerUp

Quorum

Quorum is a programming language designed to make programming, and presenting the results of a program, accessible for users with visual impairments.

Learn more about Quorum

Transcribing Games

The #TranscribingGames project aims to provide audio descriptions for mainstream video games, making them more accessible to people with low vision.

Learn more about Transcribing Games

VR Together

This EU-funded project aims to improve how audio, video, and graphics are captured and rendered in real-world environments, making virtual experiences more realistic and social.

Learn more about VR Together

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Articles

Accessibility Needs of Extended Reality Hardware: A Mixed Academic-Industry Reflection

In this experience report, XR Access Hardware & Devices Working Group leaders Aviv Elor and Joel Ward reflect on a yearlong collaboration between various academic and industry organizations toward evaluating the current and future state of XR hardware accessibility. They draw on our group’s experience of examining hardware as an inclusive team of XR professionals, both with and without disabilities. In doing so, they offer future directions for accessible XR hardware research and development.

Accessibility Needs of Extended Reality Hardware

Microsoft Research – Accessible Mixed Reality

This project considers how to design emerging Mixed Reality technologies (including AR and VR) so that they are usable by and useful to people of all abilities.

Microsoft Research – Accessible Mixed Reality

Accessible Locomotion and Interaction in WebXR

Product designer Roland Dubois provides a deep dive into the development of an accessible XR prototype in this article.

Learn more about Accessible Locomotion in WebXR

Accessible Virtual Conferences

UX designer Dylan Fox outlines the components of the tech stack for virtual conferences, and describes how to make these events more accessible.

Learn more about accessible virtual conferences

MAVRIC Conference Spotlights XR’s Potential

X-Reality (XR) is an emerging technology that has frequently come across PEAT’s radar this year. XR, an umbrella term, comprises virtual, augmented, immersive, and mixed reality technologies that can critically shape how we perform activities in workplaces and other life settings. Thinking about the potential impact of XR, consider how it will afford greater opportunities for virtual training, telepresence, and object visualization for work tasks. PEAT is thus excited about the promise of XR and passionate about ensuring its usage supports full accessibility for people with disabilities.

Learn more about MAVRIC Conference Spotlights XR’s Potential

Exploring Tangible Pathways for XR Accessibility at the 2019 W3C Workshop

Lately, the PEAT team has met many people across industry and academia who are enthusiastically driving a new wave of (XR) technologies. This community’s commitment to accessible and inclusive XR solutions is essential, and we were excited to join a recent workshop in Seattle, Washington exploring these issues in depth. Hosted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the workshop’s goal was to discuss strategies for making XR platforms on the web using principles of inclusive design.

Learn more about Exploring Tangible Pathways for XR Accessibility

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Reports

XR Access 2021 Symposium Report

Read the report from the 3rd XR Access Symposium, held June 10-11, 2021. The report includes summaries of each plenary panel and breakout group.

XR Access 2021 Symposium Report

XR Access 2020 Symposium Report

Report for the 2nd Annual (2020) XR Access Symposium, an virtual conference convened on July 20 and 21, 2020. This event was designed to be accessible from the start, with closed captioning, sign language interpreters, sighted guides and significant involvement at all levels by people with disabilities.

XR Access 2020 Symposium Report

ITIF Reports on AR/VR for Equity and Inclusion

This series of three reports from IT Industry Foundation (ITIF), entitled “AR/VR for Equity and Inclusion: How to Unlock the Potential of Augmented and Virtual Reality to Reduce Barriers and Expand Opportunity”, can help policymakers and federal agencies to be early adopters to establish policies and best practices for equity and inclusion in AR/VR.

ITIF Reports on AR/VR for Equity and Inclusion

The Accessibility Playbook for Emerging Technology Initiatives

The Accessibility Playbook for Emerging Technology Initiatives is a blueprint for anyone seeking to launch a successful initiative to drive the development of emerging technologies that are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. The Playbook includes examples from XR Access and Teach Access initiatives to provide insight into how they approached executing each play.

Read the Playbook

XR Access 2019 Symposium Report

Virtual, augmented, immersive and mixed reality technologies (XR) are currently on the cusp of mainstream acceptance. These technologies hold the potential to radically impact the lives of all people, in life, work, and play, but many will be left behind if the technology isn’t designed with accessibility in mind. To ensure that the future of this technology considers the needs of people with permanent, temporary, situational, or changing disabilities, Cornell Tech and Verizon Media hosted the first-ever XR Access Symposium July 16, 2019 at the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City.

View the XR Access 2019 Symposium Report

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Multimedia

Future of Work Podcast

The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) and leading HR blog Workology.com host the Future of Work Podcast, exploring how emerging technology trends in the workplace are impacting people with disabilities.

Episodes of interest to the XR Access community include:

Listen to the Future of Work Podcast

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Presentations

Designing Together: Co-Designing a VR Therapy

In this talk at A11yNYC, Royal College of Art’s Indira Knight, a design researcher and developer with a background in 2D and 3D animation and immersive technologies, describes gameChange, a virtual reality therapy for people with psychosis to help them feel more confident in everyday situations. It is a three-year project currently in its second year. The therapy was co-designed with people with lived experience of psychosis. In the talk, Indira shares some of the experiences of the design process and show how a mutual understanding between people with different disciplines and experiences can create a highly usable and engaging VR therapy.

Watch on YouTube – Designing Together: Co-Designing a VR Therapy

AR For Everyone: The Lesson in UX/UI Accessibility in Augmented Reality Worlds

This workshop by Eric Carter and Stephane Licina on Circuit Stream covers different kinds of UX/UI examples of accessible design interaction approaches.

Watch on YouTube – AR For Everyone: The Lesson in UX/UI Accessibility in Augmented Reality Worlds

Accessible Virtual Reality (VR) for People with Limited Mobility

This talk by Martez Mott of Microsoft Research, from February 12, 2021, describes how VR offers new and compelling ways for users to interact with digital content. VR provides immersive experiences that can be beneficial in various domains, such as gaming, training simulations, education, communication, and design. As VR tech continue to mature, and as commercial VR systems continue to grow in popularity, an opportunity exist to understand how to incorporate accessibility as a fundamental component in the design of VR systems and apps. The talk describes ongoing research to understand and eliminate accessibility barriers that prevent people with limited mobility from engaging with VR.

Watch on YouTube – Accessible Virtual Reality for People with Limited Mobility

Accessibility for AR and VR

This talk from Google I/O 2018 by Christopher Patnoe and Ran Tao covers ways you can make your VR and AR more accessible to more users.

Watch on YouTube – Accessibility for AR and VR

Ideas for Accessibility Programs in XR Companies

This talk was hosted by Equal Entry & A11yVR Meetup, with presenter Bill Curtis-Davidson, XR Access community leader and former Sr. Manager of Accessibility at Magic Leap and current Sr. Consultant for Emerging Technology Accessibility at the Wheelhouse Group. In this talk, Bill outlines how XR technology companies can put in place accessibility programs to help make sure their products, content, and experiences are usable by the broadest number of users.

Read Ideas for Accessibility Programs in XR Companies

The Future is Accessible: Accessibility in XR

This talk by XR Access community leaders – Andrew Eiche (Owlchemy), Elizabeth Hyman (XR Association), Christopher Patnoe (Google) and Christian Vogler (Gallaudet University) – at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2020. XR is redefining what we consider reality – creating the potential for entirely new mediums and means of expression. This paradigm-shifting technology allows users to experience entire worlds and alter their perceptions of reality. For XR technology to reach its full potential, it needs to be accessible. As we develop VR, AR, and other spatial computing experiences, we have the opportunity to create technologies that are accessible from the start. As workplace and educational paradigms become increasingly digital-forward, ensuring users of all abilities can avail themselves of XR technology is more important than ever. Hear from industry experts, academics, and creators on the current state of accessibility in XR and what we can do to ensure the future of XR is for everyone.

Watch on YouTube – The Future is Accessible: Accessibility in XR

XR Accessibility: The Art of the Possible

This talk by accessibility specialist Joshue O Connor was given as part of Inclusive Design 24 in September 2020. As a platform, XR or virtual and immersive environments, augmented or mixed reality is becoming more stable and commonplace. The leveraging of existing hardware means it may become ubiquitous. What does this technology mean for people with disabilities?

Watch on YouTube – XR Accessibility: The Art of the Possible

Microsoft Mixed Reality Speaker Series: XR Accessibility

Join panelists Larry Goldberg, Christine Hemphill, Regine Gilbert, and Dylan Fox as they define accessibility in the context of extended reality (XR) and introduce the XR Access Initiative, an organization dedicated to making augmented, virtual, and mixed reality accessible to everyone. Topics covered include how disability can be permanent, temporary, or situational; examples of unique challenges that XR brings to accessibility; the purpose, mission, and values of XR Access; and how XR Access’ new structure of Work Streams and Engagement Teams aims to foster both defining accessibility through design and research, as well as implementing it through development and business.

Watch on YouTube – Microsoft Mixed Reality Speaker Series: XR Accessibility

Accessible Immersive Video Experiences

Larry Goldberg (Verizon Media), and Erik Lohr (RYOT Studios) present Verizon’s vision for the future of accessibility in extended reality and immersive video.

Learn more about Accessible Immersive Video Experiences

Accessible VR360 Web Player

Developed by the ImAc Project, this web player enables the viewing of 360-degree video and spacial audio, augmented with access services like subtitles and audio description.

Watch a video of the Accessible VR360 Web Player

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