Everyone should be able to enjoy and use immersive technologies, including disabled people. However, many apps are inaccessible to these categories of users. In order to solve this issue, the XR Association and XR Access partnered to create a website containing accessibility resources, tutorials and guidance. The XRAccessibility GitHub site is now live and allows anyone to access or upload helpful resources.
Virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality can help people work more efficiently, access services, learn and entertain themselves. As the last year has proven, extended reality is the bridge between housebound people and their jobs, their doctors and their favorite stores.
However, with the growing adoption rate of extended reality technology, a new issue arose: how to make it accessible for everyone. Thus, companies want to create and launch apps that are accessible for the largest possible number of users. Yet, this in itself is a challenge for developers.
“As we talked with XR developers it quickly became clear that we not only needed to provide recommendations for building XR technology for all but also provide a practical resource for developers to access and share tools to make those recommendations a reality,” explained the CEO of XR Association, Elizabeth Hyman, in a press release shared with ARPost.
“It’s a big ask to go up to developers and say ‘Here’s what you need to do to make your XR app accessible, but you’re going to have to do it from scratch.’,” further explains XR Access Coordination and Engagement Team lead, Dylan Fox. “This resource will be a huge help in making sure that developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel in order to make accessible XR applications.”
The site offers resources for the most popular XR platforms:
The users can find strategies, tutorials, and even code snippets that they can include in their own work. At the same time, they can also contribute to the XRAccessibility GitHub site through a form which allows them to upload materials and resources.
The XRAccessibility GitHub site takes things further. It not only helps developers create accessible apps, but also offers helpful resources for disabled developers, such as:
In this way, the site aims to democratize new technologies to the highest possible degree. It addresses the accessibility needs of both content consumers and content creators with disabilities.
After all, these technologies evolved to the current state with the purpose of helping people connect to the world in meaningful ways, irrespective of their physical, emotional, or mental limitations.
In Fox’s words: “Accessibility is not only a human right, it’s a smart investment. When you make something more accessible, you make it better for everyone, disabled or not.”
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