I will say this first off while there are barriers to people with visual disabilities playing games like dungeons and dragons these barriers are mostly artificial; the first and most obvious is accessing the rules. I bring this one up first because in this digital age this problem should be nonexistent but sadly it is. the major one. While most games these days do have digital options for the systems most of these are made inaccessible, part of this problem is developers simply being lazy. It would be relatively easy to make a pdf that contained text rather then simply the image of text. Some readers here won’t understand the difference while others will see it as a difference with out a distinction. to the former i will just say the difference is fairly major but i won’t go into it here, to the latter to most people it is true that there really is no distinction as you can read either just as well but for some namely people using a screen reader to us an image of text is useless the screen reader needs text to work with. let me put it like this if your computer can’t identify the text then neither can the screen reader. some will say “but i am sure there is some good reason why some game developers make there pdf files that way” and i am sure you are right but making a pdf with text rather then images does not take up more time or cost anymore money so what ever that reason is it can’t be one of the two major ones that businesses use when determining the viability of a product format. the second is in a lot of cases even if the pdf does contain actual text the protections placed on the pdf make it useless to screen readers i have a little more understanding towards the companies on this one but there has to be a way of protecting there product with out making it unusable to the blind, i don’t know what that is but i am sure with a little work we can find one.
the easiest solution to this is probably web based i know for a fact that wizards of the coast offers most if not all there materiel for the fourth edition of dungeons and dragons on line and i feel they should be commended for this but we again come back to the issue of text being presented as an image. most of the site is moderately accessible but the information is still unusable because while i can see all the text and even most of the descriptions anything presented in a chart is still just an image. i am not quite sure why they have done it that way they obviously have an actual chart somewhere they had to make the image would it have been so hard to put that up on the site. but i digress i still feel that a web based solution still may be the way to do it we could pay for content if there is a lot of frequently updated or new content then perhaps a monthly subscription or a system where we pay for just the things we actually want.
with that rather ham fisted transition i come to the issue of money, the table top gaming industry is in a decline and has been for years making your products available to a new group of customers at little or no cost can only help. as it stands me and other blind gamers are mostly sticking to games with a thorough OGL and a web based SRD, for games like pathfinder we can even do it right from the paizo website so even though they may not be getting our money for buying the books/PDF they at least get add revenue for us. but i really do want to perches from paizo wizards and any other game developer producing a quality product.
now i will end this post in the way i intend to end all my posts from this blog, with a request if you would like to see the gaming companies start making products accessible to the blind pleas contact them and tell them so. thank you.