AbleGamers Launches New Initiative to Support Marginalized Developers and Accessibility

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AbleGamers’ DPAD Initiative will aim to provide grants for marginalized developers to learn more about making their games more accessible.

Since the organization’s founding, the AbleGamers Charity has been at the forefront of advocating for accessibility in the games industry and assisting developers with making their games more accessible to a wider audience. Though accessibility has made large progress in game development over the past several years, the charity is aiming to more broadly assist developers (especially those from marginalized groups) seeking to make their games more accessible to players with disabilities.

AbleGamers has announced that the organization is launching a new initiative called the Developers Promoting Accessibility & Diversity Initiative (DPAD). According to the organization, the DPAD Initiative is aimed at providing marginalized developers (such as those with disabilities, women, developers of color, or members of the LGBTQIA+ community) and studios with access to free training courses in accessibility in game development. Specifically, this training will come from the Accessible Player Experience Practitioner Course (APXP), which provides developers with resources and training to facilitate accessible development practices and cultures at studios around the world.

Through AbleGamers’ DPAD Initiative, this opportunity will provide a greater opportunity for developers from around the world with additional resources to foster accessibility in game development. This is especially the case for smaller independent studios that may not have the means to provide a more accessible gameplay experience for players with disabilities, with AbleGamers seeking to support marginalized developers in the wake of conversations around race and inequality in the games industry in the past several months.

Accessibility in the games industry has been a growing topic over the course of this generation and especially leading into the upcoming launch of the next-generation consoles. Several major companies and publishers such as Microsoft and Ubisoft have focused more specifically on making their game experiences more accessible to players with disabilities, with Ubisoft especially making it a key practice in its development process. The Last of Us Part II, which released this past June from Sony and Naughty Dog, was also highlighted as a strong example of accessible game design with its huge assortment of accessible gameplay options.

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