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Microsoft rolls out more accessibility tools for devs

Microsoft rolls out more accessibility tools for devs

Tech and software behemoth Microsoft has revealed a new of tools to help developers make their games more accessible.

These new initiatives – unveiled at the Big M's Ability Summit – include a brand new Gaming Accessibility Resource Hub, where companies can find guides, training and other resources about how to make their projects playable by those who are differently abled. This hub was initially launched back in 2019, but has now been updated to include topics such as motion sickness and mental health issues.

Microsoft has also launched an accessibility resource called BuildAbility. Created in partnership with Ontario's Peel District School Board, this is designed to educate users and "eliminate accessibility barriers".

The accessibility tags on the company's Xbox storefront have also been improved, allowing consumers to search by a title's accessibility features.

Accessibility has been a point of focus for Microsoft for a few years now. Back in 2018, the company rolled out the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which allowed people to play games in a way that suited them. That same year, we caught up with the Big M's disability community lead Tara Voelker to discuss why making games more accessible was both the right thing to do, as well as good for business.

Since February 2021, developers and publishers have been able to have Microsoft assess the accessibility of their projects.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site PCGamesInsider.biz. In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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