Xbox is celebrating accessibility and the disabled community this month

Ben Bayliss4 minute read

Xbox and Microsoft Gaming have detailed the ways in which they are celebrating accessibility and supporting the disability community throughout October.

Xbox and Microsoft Gaming have announced that for the month of October, they will be celebrating and showing support for the disability community. Throughout October, various studios and organizations will be taking the spotlight to raise awareness through various events,

Xbox Accessibility Showcase

An Xbox Accessibility Showcase took place today on October 1, 2021, and showcased the work Xbox has done in partnership with the disabled community. It went through some of the impactful accessibility work done to date, including stories from the community, and highlighted the new accessibility updates coming to Xbox consoles as well as looking to future plans.

SpecialEffect One Special Rematch

Today, teams from Rare and Playground Games will be taking part in One Special Rematch with proceeds raised going to SpecialEffect. SpecialEffect is a UK-based charity that uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities globally. More information on the match can be found on Xbox Wire.

Microsoft Rewards Donating

For those that use Microsoft Rewards, those in the US can use Microsoft Rewards to donate reward points to SpecialEffect, AbleGamers, and Warfighter Engaged. Warfighter Engaged was revealed to have worked with 343 Industries to help improve character customization representation in Halo Infinite.

Minecraft: Education Edition and Neurodiversity Hiring

The Minecraft Education team and Microsoft Inclusive Hiring team worked together to develop a case study video about a Neurodiversity Hiring Program at Microsoft that utilizes Minecraft: Education Edition. It looks into how Minecraft can be used to present challenges to neurodivergent candidates by having challenges that show valuable skills in competency areas such as teamwork, creative problem solving, leadership, and communication.

Additionally, for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Xbox is sharing the above video along with a playbook that is available for all organizations and encourages widespread adoption of inclusive hiring processes for neurodivergent candidates. This will also be a talk at GA Conf 2021 in October.

Game Accessibility Conference 2021

October’s GAConf 2021 will take place on October 11 – October 12 and will be free to watch the talks. Microsoft is a Gold Sponsor for the conference and will have a number of talks from various speakers across the industry about accessibility in video games.

World Sight Day

To celebrate World Sight Day on October 14, Xbox Plays is hosting a stream featuring SightlessKombat who will be jumping into The Vale: Shadow of the Crown. Additionally, from October 18 through to October 22, Xbox Plays will be featuring Streamer Takeovers for disability awareness.

Ways to Play

Microsoft Casual Games will be celebrating game accessibility by having FAQs, social media posts, and in-game messages teaching players how to enable accessibility options. These include high contrast modes, audio narration, keyboard navigation, and engage with vision assist modes and features in its games.

Sea of Thieves also highlights the work by Rare to continue to bring accessibility improvements to the game, with the press release revealing that since launch, 52% of updates for the game have included accessibility features or improvements. The game also has a dedicated accessibility section on its website.

For the Xbox Community Game Club, throughout October 2021, it will be sharing, playing, and discussing games that have distinct accessibility features. And finally, Xbox continues to act on its commitment to accessibility in gaming.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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