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Hi everyone, I've been pushing not just for accessible games, but for a more inclusive work environment as a whole.

EA is an equal opportunity employer and the question I pose here is not an attempt to actively recruit anyone at this time. It is a discussion on how to set people up to succeed in a variety of roles, and how to improve future recruitment efforts.

Today I was asked about what types of skills a blind candidate may bring to the table, and which positions would be a great fit. I had many examples, but I think the most powerful type of response to this would be first-hand accounts.

So... what types of jobs do you feel you'd be a good fit for, especially in the game industry, and why? You can post here or email me at AccessibilityFeedback[email protected]

Again, this is not a recruiting effort, this is a discussion to improve future outreach programs.

Thanks,

- Karen Stevens

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For me personally, the biggest skills I think would be perspectives on sound design, as predictable as that answer may be. I can lend perspective as to what events may benefit from sounds or not, and not just for blindness purposes... but for general ambiance and design. And as a martial artist, any combat-heavy game would be up my alley as well. There are probably many people who specialize in both, but I do think that having someone who is totally blind will lend a bit of a different viewpoint, especially in the sound department... as there may be things that we think about which may not occur to sound designers who can see, simply by the fact that we use 100% of our hearing, or as close to that as we can and would approach things from a purely auditory point of view, rather than a visual one.

regards,
assault_freak

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That's an excellent example, assault_freak. Thank you for sharing. Does anyone have other examples?

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Examples don't have to be related to working on games directly. Supporting roles count too (i.e. accounting).

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The only job out of reach is graphic design... and then even then, if the employee in question had sight previously or had people to bounce ideas off of, it could work as well. But accounting, sales, anything like that is definitely within possibility for sure.

regards,
assault_freak

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I agree those are all options. What I'm looking for here is more personalized context, similar to what you originally posted, assault_freak. Having real scenarios based on real people greatly helps provide context and weight to the examples.

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There aren't really any accessible tools like Unity, CAD, etc, so blind game developers more or less code everything by hand. I don't feel like that's necessarily going to provide any skill advantage in terms of the programming side of things, but I suppose it could?

Some of my games
Keep up to date by following @Jeqofire on twitter!
Ear Ninja?

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CAE_Jones - for the sake of the discussion, assume everything is made inside the studio (which is mostly true). That said, low-level experience would be a great thing to have for an engine developer.

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Well, personally I can say, that some of us may fit well as a writer for game plots, and including myself, there are a few musicians scattered forum wide. As an aspiring voice actor, I can also tell that blind people would match voice acting for games, since in most cases, even sighted voice actors doesn't have access to any kind of visual material when it comes to giving voices to characters.
Best regards, Haramir.

The true blind is the one who refuses to see.

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10 (edited by hadi.gsf 2017-10-13 09:20:59)

Haramir wrote:

Well, personally I can say, that some of us may fit well as a writer for game plots, and including myself, there are a few musicians scattered forum wide. As an aspiring voice actor, I can also tell that blind people would match voice acting for games, since in most cases, even sighted voice actors doesn't have access to any kind of visual material when it comes to giving voices to characters.
Best regards, Haramir.

This is a very, very good point. Here, Let me show you something in support of what he just said:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_asye0IWFxY
that video in short: Martin Tyler and Allan Smith are given scripts that describe the match and scenarios, and they  commentate by their imagination. This is for EA's Fifa! smile

John Petrucci Fan all the time.
twitter: @hadirezae3
skype ID: hadi.gsf7

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Hello folks! Thanks for the nice material hadi.gsf. I also forgot to mention that some companies are a bit more than worried about accessibility, so an obvious job would be accessibility consultant.
Best regards, Haramir.

The true blind is the one who refuses to see.

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Hi.
I will say reach out for people who have worked with people who have different disabilities, or better, multiple disabilities. For example people who have worked with people who both have hearing impairment and visual impairment, or wheelchair users with multiple disabilities. I think such person who have experience with multiple disabilities or combination of different disabilities will be the best person to help you make the games accessible for most people with disabilities.
Now I might be wrong about this. But I think it would be a good idea if this person don't have disabilities at all. Why? Because such person need to see the points from none disabled persons view, but also from multiple disabled persons point of view. It is not just important to understand what it is like for disabled people and what to do about it, but also to explain to people what's all about, who don't know much about disabled people.
Yes, I agree that disabled people are the best to explain what it is like and what to do to make things better. But if you wanna make your games accessible to as many disabled people as possible, you either need a lot of disabled people and people with multiple disabilities, or you need someone none disabled who have experience with multiple disabilities. I hope it makes sense. smile

Best regards SLJ.
If you like the post, then please give it a thumps up.
Feel free to contact me privately if you have something in mind. If you do so, then please send me a mail instead of using the private message on the forum, since I don't check those very often.
Happy gaming... :D

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Keep in mind that companies will want to fill existing positions before inventing new ones.. Karen's point was talking about positions that already exist in a common field, not specifically about accessibility.

"Examples don't have to be related to working on games directly. Supporting roles count too (i.e. accounting)."

The problem with the blind people being best for voiceacting thing and using imagination is that the argument can be self-defeating. Imagination, to some extent, requires visualization and many of us struggle with visualization. Sighted people do have access to visual materials when acting, usually words on paper or some concept video for the scene they are trying to act out. But as has been said, what is being asked for here isn't just about accessibility. Karen is asking people to share personal thoughts about the things they might personally be able to do, not just generalizations. Posts 4 and 6 in particular explain more specifically.

regards,
assault_freak

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Well tester.
I have done a lot of jobs from admin on family stuff to research for universities to being a lab rat.
Most of what I do right now is for software, hardware and concept testing where you follow instructions to test a concept which is part of my psycology research as a test pilot in the local university.
I get more time with the staff, and I get transport to and from location by the boss.
I also get lunch or dinner and can to a certain extent set my hours.
On the other end of the spectrum as it were I have done government website testing along with several university business and testing for some businesses.
On the game front I have tested for bugs and suggested features.
I have not as such rote for games or in fact designed sounds as such though I have dabbled a little with simple things not with major software packages but with some things with wounds I allready have.
I guess you could have a job where you decide where things should go, ie play the game and think you need to put something in as you play and so on and so on.
Ofcause if I ever got a job, it would have to be something local that was close or something I could do online which means I could work from anywhere.
I am used to online work for the most part but even so.
I have always tried to branch out but my actual work is vary little.

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Here is what a blind person could do for EA.
Work along side the developers to ensure that the games would have accessibility features for the blind.
Doing the beta testing stage of a game the blind person could test the game to make sure that someone without sight is able to use the game without any sighted help.
A blind person could do public speaking on how games help people to connect with the world.
Also a blind person could get information from other people with disabilities to see how the games could be playable for them.

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There has been a big push to make the toolsets for programming more accessible. There could possibly be blind programmers in some supporting rolls.

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assault_freak is correct in what I was after. Here's an invented example, which I would expect to be real, but I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth "I'm a C++ programmer that's made multiplayer audio games and have network programming experience."

Liam - you are correct on tool accessibility. Internal tool accessibility wildly varies, and needs to be fixed. Any scenario here can be used as a test case to ensure nothing is missed.

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Hm, I think reading a bit of [The Door Problem] might help give everyone an idea of what kinds of roles there are in a development company like EA, and how they might fit in.

-BrushTone v1.3.0: Accessible Paint Tool
-AudiMesh3D v1.0.0: Accessible 3D Model Viewer

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