Hi David,
Absolutely correct. Our list is a minority of a minority and we usually have around 300 members on average. All of us together would not be a very convincing group of blind gamers to encourage mainstream game developers of the value of accessibility. If a talking clock that sold thousands nationally to the general blind market would fail certainly games, which are of even much less value to the general blind population, would do even worse commercially. Everyone needs an accessible clock, but not everyone needs or wants a fully accessible version of Resident Evil, DC Universe, World of War Craft, whatever. Then, as has been mentioned on this list before, most of those with any kind of visual impairment are the elderly. My grandma is in her 80's, her sight is slowly going, and she does like playing card games like Hearts, Solitaire, Poker, but that's about it. She would not at all appreciate playing games like War Craft and so on. That age difference certainly would be a factor in what accessible games would and would not be purchased by the largest majority of visually impaired people world wide. Therefore if a talking clockt that would certainly help the elderly can fail commercially games they wouldn't like at all is doomed to failior too.

David Chittenden wrote:

I do not believe creating accessible games from scratch would be considered viable by any of the game developers.

Blindness is a very low incidence group which only effects .6% of the population of any technologically advanced country, and up to .8% of non-technologically advanced countries.

I use to work as an accessibility consultant for a few companies which develop consumer electronics. Companies are primarily only interested if they can make a profit. Only very small companies which are trying to break in to the market typically consider our extremely small numbers as being a viable market segment.

Some of you may remember the Sharp Talking Time I, one of the best pocket talking clocks which came out in the early 80's. Within a couple years, Sharp took it off the market. That clock was very popular amongst blind people. We purchased several tens of thousands of them.

That clock was not very popular among any other market segment. Sharp needed several hundred thousand sales to consider the product as viable.

The numbers which we can bring to any mainstream product are currently no where near enough for the company to consider us as a viable profit-making group for targeting.

Note: Apple is the only large mainstream company that I am aware of which has adopted blindness accessibility across its entire product line as a corporate position. I do hope other large companies follow Apple's lead, but have my doubts for the near future.

David Chittenden, MS, CRC, MRCAA

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