Interactive Case Studies

[Author: Bill Fischer]


While much work has been done to make web sites more accessible, it has focused on technical solutions that enhance the ability of persons with disabilities to access the information contained within them using assistive devices. I have analyzed what many might consider a model website and analyzed it through the lens of universal design. I've also focused that lens on educational games. Not finding a great model of accessibility in that genre, I elected to create my own blueprint for a universally designed game. 

A Universal Game Design Blueprint

Games producers have only recently begun to address accessibility. Like web site and video producers, they are largely focused on using add-on features in an attempt to fix games that were not originally designed with accessibility in mind. I have developed a blueprint for a simple puzzle game that incorporates over 20 accessibility features, organically. The goal of the exercise is to explore what a universally designed game might look like.

The Universal educational Game Design Slide Deck

This comprehensive slide deck covers my journey beyond accessibility, and the differences between universal and accessible game design. It explains how universal design can end disenfranchisement, engage more learners, and lower production costs, all while minimizing legal jeopardy.  Several audio-video examples, some eye opening data, and a full game prototype demo are included. The deck integrates captions organically and a truncated video version with full audio narration is available further down this page.

Universal Game Design - Gamicon

The Universal educational Game Design Short Video

This 17 minute video compares accessible and universal game design methods, and explains why universal is more inclusive. Universal instructional design aims to provide opportunities for persons of all abilities to play educational games at the same time, in the same place on the same type of digital device. The bulk of the content includes a detailed blueprint that demonstrates an integration of 22 universal design methods for creating a universal, educational game. 

The website

Original web page

Web page viewed with red-green color-blind simulator

The website showing improvements that will help sight impaired and cognitively disabled persons

Revised web page mock-up