Apex Legends, STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order, and Gears 5 have been recognized for their contributions to accessibility in gaming at the 2019 Accessibility Awards through Can I Play That.
If you’re unfamiliar with Can I Play That, they are a gaming website that focuses entirely on accessibility and the differently abled player experience. The site was founded in 2018 by games writers Susan Banks and Courtney Craven who have many years of experience writing deaf/hard of hearing game reviews at oneoddgamergirl.net. The site has articles about gaming experience from players with accessibility needs and guides for how to access accessibility options for deaf, mobility impaired, and cognitively impaired players.
The 2019 Accessibility Awards are a showcase of all the games that made significant strides for the gaming community last year. Taking home the top honor Best Overall Accessible Game was Gears 5. Gears was also awarded Best Physical/Motor Accessibility, Best Improvement In Accessibility In A Series, and Most Accessible Game trailer.
Both of Respawn Entertainment’s releases this year were recognized at the awards. Apex Legends won for Most Accessible Multiplayer Chat for their text-to-speech and innovative ping system, while STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order won Best Deaf/Hard Of Hearing Accessibility. Other notable winners include Xbox Adaptive controller for Favorite Innovation In Accessible Tech, Pokémon Sword/Shield for Best Cognitive Accessiblity, and of course, Can I Play That? for Favorite Game Accessibility website.
Overall, Microsoft is far and away the dominant company on this list both for their hardware and exclusive titles. In 2018, Microsoft opened the Inclusive Tech Lab aimed a forwarding the advancement of gaming for all types of disabled players. Microsoft has partnered with a number of foundations, including AbleGamers, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, Special Effect, and Warfighter Engaged, to develop products and create solution so more people can have the opportunity to play games.
Falling Squirrel, a Canadian developer, is currently developing an audio-only first person action RPG for PC called The Vale, truly the first of its kind. You can find more about that project in our feature on it, and you can hopefully look forward to seeing The Vale on this short list for the Accessibility Awards next year.
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