Read about our community members’ experiences with XR accessibility.
Have you struggled to use augmented or virtual reality (XR) because it wasn’t accessible for you? Alternately, has XR technology made life better for you or someone you know? Your story can serve as a catalyst to help others.
XR Access is gathering stories of people with disabilities to help advocate for accessible XR technology. These stories will be shared on our website and social media to help show how real people are affected by the accessibility (or lack thereof) of these technologies.
Read stories from our community members below. Want to submit your own story, or help us gather stories? Check out the links below.
My experience with VR has mostly been very positive. I love that there are a lot of different apps, which means there is a strong chance of finding one that will work with whatever disabilities you might have. I wrote a very positive blog post about it on my website (beautifullyinclusive.com)
That said, there is a notable lack of games with captioning, and I would love to see more adaptions around what my field of play is, sometimes for example I might want to sit on the floor but the apps often find that to be confusing.
As a legally blind XR user, mostly VR so far, I have found virtual reality dashboards, app and game user interfaces, and even computer and mobile interfaces to be largely inaccessible. When it works, virtual reality is amazing, and has a lot of potential for immersive games, socialization, and productivity. Much of the time though, text and overall user interfaces are largely inaccessible to blind and low vision users.
It’s been a struggle to get going with VR as I haven’t been able to find captioned or subtitle apps. I did a search for them and others are asking the same thing and not getting answers. This link shares my experience: Accessible Virtual Reality: Advice from a Deaf Person on How to Make It Better
-Meryl Evans, Plano TX
I have very little use of my hands with technology that is always a problem for me.
-Stewart Tucker Lundy, Denver CO
Many of the games or experiences I have in virtual reality are based on audio and peer interactions. It’s unfortunate that as a deaf person I am left out of those interactions and audio cues. For example, Echo VR, I had a difficult time learning how to play in the arena as everything was voice activated. There were no captions, instructions, or an avatar that I could see that was talking.
I have been legally blind since birth due to what’s called optic nerve hypoplasia. Basically, my eyes apparently work fine, but my optic nerves were never fully developed, so it makes it hard to see details and distinguish things that don’t have a very high contrast. My vision is not degenerative. I’ve been playing video games since I was a little kid and mostly managed by sitting close to the TV. Since the rise of VR, I have been very impressed. I’ve tried the HTC Vive as well as the Quest 2 at events and over friends’ houses.