Interaction Design

Accessible Gaming: Game Play
Lived Experience

Image: Steve Saylor


Steve Saylor opens in new window is an accessibility advocate, consultant, content creator and Twitch Partner. He has consulted with studios such as Ubisoft opens in new window, Electronic Arts (EA) opens in new window, and most recently Naughty Dog opens in new window on “The Last of Us Part 2.” His YouTube series, The Blind Gamer opens in new window, started in 2015, and has educated viewers on how Steve plays games as a visually impaired gamer and on the importance of accessibility in video games. He’s been featured on CNN opens in new window, CBC opens in new window, BBC opens in new window, NPR opens in new window, USA Today opens in new window, VICE opens in new window, IGN opens in new window, Gamespot opens in new window, and more.

Developing an Understanding

“Video games are so much more than an entertainment medium, they’re a social gathering where people can come together to engage in conversation and create community. Regardless of the platform, device or type of game, anyone who plays can be considered a gamer. The future of gaming is a bright one, and Steve is ensuring that anyone who wants to play has the resources to be able to do so.” (Elle Dhanani, 2021).

In this interview, Crip Culture: Accessibility in Gaming with Steve Saylor opens in new window, Elle Dhanani discusses accessibility in gaming with Steve Saylor.

Steve created a series of videos for this course.

Steve Saylor introduces himself with a description of what he looks like, describes the role of an accessibility consultant, and summarizes the following videos in this series.

Steve discusses the history of accessibility in video games including the founding of the International Game Developers Association opens in new window (IGDA) Special Interest Group in 2003 and AbleGamers opens in new window in 2004 as well as accessibility developments in gaming since 2010.

Steve offers a brief overview of video game hardware including goggles opens in new window for people who are blind or have low vision, adaptive controllers for Nintendo opens in new window, Xbox opens in new window, and PlayStation opens in new window, and a vest opens in new window that provides vibration and haptic feedback for people who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing.

Steve reviews video game accessibility for players who are blind or have low vision, are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, have motor disabilities as well as adjustments to game difficulty.

Steve reviews the accessibility features of popular gaming platforms.

In his conclusion, Steve reminds us that accessibility is for everyone. He also discusses the importance of building accessibility into the design of video games from the very beginning.

Developing an Understanding

In 2020, a Humber Film and Television (FMTV) team of second year students, produced a documentary, Access Granted about Steve Saylor.