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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A Guide to Accessible Digital UX Design
It is in the best interest of web developers to focus on accessibility in digital UX not only for business and legal reasons. UX design is an important ethical consideration, as not everyone has the same knowledge, abilities, or circumstances. Accessible UX design allows more individuals to access a website or application, or to use it more effectively (which is vital to e-commerce and sites that heavily rely on traffic to their site). Our resource guides the viewer through creating an accessibility plan that outlines accessibility standards and best practices unique to their situation.
A Hacker’s Guide to XR Accessibility
Hackathons are a fantastic opportunity to explore new technologies, and XR is no exception. In this article, XR Access Coordination & Engagement Team Lead Dylan Fox digs into how and why to create an accessibilty-focused XR hackathon project.
Inclusive XR & Hybrid Work Toolkit
The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) created this Toolkit to help employers understand the value of using accessible extended reality (XR) technologies in hybrid work environments. The Toolkit can help employers procure accessible XR technologies for their workplaces, and use these technologies in ways that include all employees equally.
Inclusive XR Brief
This brief from the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) makes a leadership case for bringing accessible XR into workplaces.
Inclusive Workplace XR
This whitepaper from the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) is designed to help organizations to upskill and enable an increasingly diverse workforce, and ensure the immersive technologies they adopt are accessible for all.
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.
Oculus Guidelines for Designing Accessible VR
This set of guidelines for Oculus developers can help them design and build more inclusive applications.
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).
10 Usability Heuristics Applied to Virtual Reality – Nielsen Norman Group
Jakob Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics can improve the user experience of VR applications.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A11yVR – Accessibility Virtual Reality Group
The A11yVR group hosts regular meetups and discussions on how to make VR accessible.
AbleGamers provides custom video game equipment for people with disabilities, bringing inclusion and improved quality of life.
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.
OpenInclusion’s accessibility consultancy services help business understand and build for people with disabilities.
Tools & Projects
SpoonieVR’s VR Accessibility Chart
SpoonieVR’s VR Accessibility Chart is a collaborative project led by individuals within the VR and disability community. It charts accessibility features available (or missing) in dozens of popular VR games, with the goal of helping users make decisions on what games to buy and inspiring developers to increase the accessibility of their games.
XR Accessibility Resources on GitHub
The XRAccessibility Project is an initiative driven by the XR Association and XR Access to provide a central place for developers to find solutions for creating accessible code across various XR platforms. We were inspired by developers, key players in ensuring that this technology is accessible, who reported challenges in finding accessible code snippets. Here are some of its features:
- Provides strategies, code, and tutorials to solve accessibility concerns across a wide range of platforms
- Includes an index that points to resources all over the internet, organized by platform
- Validates resource usability and functionality
- Features a contribution form for adding links to additional resources to this project
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.
Gaze Detection Library
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.
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.
The SeeingVR tool enhances VR applications for people with low vision by providing visual and audio augmentations, using both plugins and developer input.
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.
ImmersiaTV creates an integrated toolset for producing and distributing immersive and interactive content across devices and formats.
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.
Quorum is a programming language designed to make programming, and presenting the results of a program, accessible for users with visual impairments.
The #TranscribingGames project aims to provide audio descriptions for mainstream video games, making them more accessible to people with low vision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Value of Inclusively Designed XR Workplace Tools
The Value of Inclusively Designed XR Workplace Tools
A Research Report from the Business Cases for Inclusive XR Workstream
Download this report in other formats: PDF | Word Document
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Making Workplace Digital Communication Accessible, featuring Justin Herman of Twilio
- The Value of VR for Training and Employee Development, featuring George Karalis of STRIVR
- Creating VR Workplace Training Programs for People with Disabilities, featuring accessibility specialists Chris Baumgart and Meagan Little
- How XR is Changing Workplace Training and Accessibility, featuring Joel Ward of Booz Allen Hamilton
- Virtual Reality and Accessible Workplace Technology, featuring Beth Crutchfield and Jessie Haugh of Level Access
Equal Entry Virtual Reality Articles and Videos from A11yVR
Equal Entry’s virtual reality content focuses on accessibility. Members of their team are the cohosts of A11yVR meetup.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.