This year, for the 2017 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, Level Access (Formerly known as SSB Bart Group) and The Ablegamers Charity teamed up for the official launch of their partnership to bring accessible gaming to the conference. Throughout the week, Ablegamers demonstrated a wide variety of adaptive gaming, ranging from eye-tracking hardware to switch-controlled gaming. Throughout this demonstration, event attendees were able to save planet Earth from asteroids as well as playing the hit-game Rocket League with just accessible switches! Attendees were able to get hands on experience of the true potential behind adaptive devices, and start the conversation on the need for further progression in accessibility measures, both in the hardware and software realm.
Along with their hardware demo, Founder and Executive Director, Mark Barlet, and Head of Research and Development, Jessie Hall, gave a presentation in the Level Access Suite, where they delved into the pertinent reasons as to why accessibility is needed, and how developers can work towards a mature accessibility initiative in their game development. Through this interactive presentation, attendees were able to direct host discussions and debates, including the topic of blind gaming.
Barlet and Hall also participated in a panel discussion with Twitch at the Amazon Suite, discussing bringing accessibility to Twitch, as well as their partnership with Ablegamers in developing the first-ever live closed captioning for the largest streaming company. The highlight of this discussion was Mark explaining the original test stream with Twitch, where he repeatedly said “antidisestablishmentarianism”, when there was a live stenographer working the panel to bring speech to text functionality to the audience.