The UK games industry’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiative #RaiseTheGame has today launched the Access November campaign as part of its ongoing efforts to create meaningful cultural and behavioural change in UK games businesses.
Taking place between Monday 14th November and Friday 25th November, the campaign will encompass virtual networking sessions, talks and workshops, online resources and content as well as some in-person satellite events.
The aim is to inspire games industry professionals and companies to make their games and services more accessible, as well as champion representation of disabled and neurodiverse people both in the stories that games are telling and within the teams that make them.
The campaign is also set to deliver a series of games-related workshops, talks and fireside chats at TechShare Pro, Europe's largest accessibility and inclusive design conference, between Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th November as part of the campaign.
Contributors include the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), mayamada and Many Cats, which will be providing best practice resources as well as hosting a workshop on the importance of considering sight accessibility in games and workplaces.
According to research from the ONS, the 14.1 million disabled people in the UK represent £274 billion in potential consumer spend – a figure that disability equality charity Scope refer to as the “Purple Pound”. Considering and supporting players who are disabled or neurodiverse represents an untapped market for many UK companies.
Meanwhile, data from Ukie’s 2022 census- shows that the games industry has more neurodivergent people working within it – and specifically more people who were autistic or had a condition affecting concentration, such as ADHD – than the working age population.
However, only 4% of the UK games Industry consider themselves disabled, alongside 18% identifying as neurodiverse.
Supporting the entry of these workers to the games industry and championing those already in games is an excellent way to foster accessibility and representation within the design of video games themselves.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie said: “One of the ways that we help to make the UK the best place in the world to make, sell and play video games is to make sure that everyone can enjoy them.
“This campaign will help start conversations across the industry about the importance of access, inclusion and representation when it comes to disabilities and neurodiversity.”
Alison Long, Director of Consumer and Business Services at RNIB, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Access November campaign to bring meaningful change to the games industry through a greater representation of disabled and neurodivergent people.
“RNIB’s recent Accessible Gaming Symposium held in conjunction with Abertay University in Dundee was a springboard for some insightful conversations about how to make the game playing experience better for blind and partially sighted gamers and Access November is a great opportunity to amplify those debates.
“Games bring alive diverse and varied worlds, yet there remains a lack of disabled characters in gaming storylines and more diversity in the studios creating those games will make for a richer gaming experience for everyone.”
A spokesperson from AbilityNet TechShare Pro said: “The games industry drives digital innovation in so many ways and has a huge impact on the development of software and hardware that can be used by everyone. As well as being supported by brands such as Sony and Microsoft TechShare Pro always showcases and the work of the studios who are putting accessibility at the core of their creative and business decisions.”
Get £10 off the AbilityNet TechShare Pro programme with our discount code RTG22: https://hopin.com/events/techshare-pro-2022/registration