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Second Life and Accessibility

26/06/2008

At the recent NCeSS conference I was put in touch with Gareth White, from Sussex University.  Gareth is a post graduate who has been looking into the accessibility of Second Life for people with visual impairments.  Second Life is a hot accessibility topic, with some high profile instances of disability culture in evidence – most notably Wheelies Nightclub (the first virtual disability nightclub in the world!), but features some clear barriers to participation for blind and partially sighted people, amongst others.

Gareth’s blog (at http://blindsecondlife.blogspot.com/) gathers together some interesting opinions and materials in this area, including work on the use of haptics for adding tactile sensations to virtual worlds and an extensive list of relevant links.  Importantly, his work has been accepted for the forthcoming ACM International Conference on Digital Interactive Media in Entertainment &
Arts, hopefully making the detail of his research more publically available.  I’ll be sure to signpost the resulting paper.

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