Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Tuesday, 24 January 2017 9:05 pm.
Tomorrow at the BETT show at the ExCel London in the Learn Live: SEN area (C438 near entrance N9), Open University Professor, Jane Seale will be presenting...
Learning from our histories: What can we draw from the experiences of experts in the field of special needs and technology that can inform our future practice?
Between 10:30 and 11 Jane will draw on examples from interviews she has conducted with 45 experts who have worked in the field of SEN and technology from the 1970's onwards. She will use the examples to discuss what we can learn from these histories to inform future practice.
You can follow this fascinating project at Jane's blog, "The History of Special Needs Technology in the UK".
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Monday, 23 January 2017 10:21 pm.
Exciting game accessibility news from David Dzumba at Microsoft, in the tentative partial launch of the Co-Pilot feature. This is the blurb:
"Enabling Xbox One to be accessible for everyone: One important area for us with this release is to enable Xbox One to be able to be used and played by everyone. Take for instance our new Copilot feature which allows two controllers to act as if they were one. This will help make Xbox One more inviting to new gamers needing assistance, more fun by adding cooperative controls for any game and easier for players who need unique configurations to play — whether that is with hands apart, hand and chin, hand and foot, etc.. We are also adding new enhancements to Magnifier and Narrator, as well as giving more options over audio output and custom rumble settings on a controller, which was previously reserved for the Xbox Elite Controller. You can find these accessibility options, and more, in Settings and Ease of Access."
As well as the benefits of using two standard Xbox One controllers, it should also be possible to:
• Use one or two modified Xbox One controllers, using the likes of remapper flexi-pcbs.
• Use a standard controller alongside a non Xbox One controller using an adapter including the super-powerful Titan One.
• Mix all of this together.
Labels: xbox one
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk 9:27 pm.
The German company my3dbase produce a number of "Easy Mapper" (aka remapper) flex boards. These can be fitted to PS4 and Xbox One controllers (make sure you get precisely the right one) enabling easier access to wire up switch sockets and push-buttons.
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Wednesday, 11 January 2017 8:00 am.
'We believe that technology should be accessible to everyone' opens Apple's new accessibility pages. If only more companies felt that way.
Nice to see the Skoog in the Apple Accessibility shop at a very fair price. Pretorian iSwitch should be in there too ideally.
Hands Optional is a new Facebook support group for Apple switch users set up by Christopher Hills.
I was sad to learn of Ken Yankelevitz's death earlier this year (31st of August 2016). Ken was very likely the first person to build and sell accessible controllers in mainstream gaming magazines and he did it at a loss so that controllers were affordable. Atari would recommend people to him directly if in need of alternative controllers in the early 80s at a time when Atari was the biggest video gaming company on the planet.
Ken's family put together a folder including some testimonies from the many people he helped along the way, which I'm told brought him and his family great comfort and happiness. Learn a little more about Ken's work here and here.
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Sunday, 18 December 2016 12:41 pm.
eSports slightly bemuses me in some ways as I'd rather play than watch, but it's certainly coming of age. Here it is, perhaps at it's birth, in 1975 on the UK Children's television programme, Crackerjack in the form of competitive Football-Pong (about 3 and a half minutes in).
Via: Jonathan Beales on Twitter
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Thursday, 8 December 2016 8:29 pm.
All via TheVerge.com: ...Miyamoto says that Nintendo has been toying with the idea of a one-button Mario game since the days of Wii. “As we were doing those experiments, we thought that that kind of approach would perhaps best be suited to iPhone,” he says. “So that became the basis for Super Mario Run"...
But whether it was for Wii or iPhone, the goal behind this streamlined Mario was the same: to bring the distinct flavor of Super Mario to as many people as possible. “Nintendo has been making Mario games for a long time, and the longer you continue to make a series, the more complex the gameplay becomes, and the harder it becomes for new players to be able to get into the series,” Miyamoto says. “We felt that by having this simple tap interaction to make Mario jump, we’d be able to make a game that the broadest audience of people could play.”
Published by OneSwitch.org.uk Tuesday, 6 December 2016 10:20 pm.
Shawn Layden (introducing the Accessibility panel at the Sony Playstation Experience 2016 on the 4th of December at 2pm):
"I wanted to be on stage today to tell you how important this next panel is to our community, to our business, to our life, to what we do as Playstation gamers.... the accessibility panel is here to talk about how to make games more accessible to all gamers of all walks of life.... We are a diverse bunch, the Playstation Nation..... The ideal is that every gamer should be able to have all the different gaming experiences that we can possibly bring to them, it's important for Playstation. We really want to be leaders in this field."
This could be a race to the top with the big players. Nintendo, are you listening? Here's some really useful contacts in large Game Companies Interested in Game Accessibility. Contact them if you'd like to be heard:
• Apple Accessibility - primarily via email@example.com
• Google Accessibility (USA and International)
• Nintendo Corporate Social Responsibility and Accessibility (USA)
• Sony Accessibility and Usability (International)
• Xbox Ease of Access and Accessibility (USA)
• Bryce Johnson on Twitter a great contact at Xbox.
• Karen Stevens on Twitter likewise at EA Accessible.
• Mark Friend on Twitter likewise at Sony (also via mark.friend [@] sony.com).