#a11yTO Gaming accessibility conference returns to Toronto this month

Developers from the likes of Ubisoft and Eidos Montreal will be in attendance to discuss the importance of accessibility of gaming

Gamora, Groot holding a llama, Star-Lord, Rocket and Drax stand in a row in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

#a11yTO Gaming, a gaming conference focused entirely on accessibility, will return as an in-person event this month.

Taking place on October 15th at Microsoft’s Toronto office, #a11yTO Gaming will feature a variety of guest developers, an accessible gaming arcade, live gaming demos and more. Canada’s Steve Saylor, an accessibility-focused content creator and accessibility consultant, will once again host #a11yTO Gaming.

Specific attractions this year include representatives from Ubisoft Toronto talking about Far Cry 6 and job opportunities at the studio, Dave Evans from St. Catharine’s Falling Squirrel demoing his innovative The Vale: Shadow of the Crown and Rodrigo Sanchez from Eidos Montreal to discuss Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Tickets cost $49 and are on sale until October 10th. Those using the promo code ‘THANKSTORONTO’ can get tickets for $20.

A main #a11yTO event focused on accessibility in areas beyond just gaming will also take place on October 17th and 18th in-person and online. More information can be found here.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. Video games, meanwhile, are enjoyed by roughly three billion people around the world. Therefore, there’s a large audience who would like to play games but are physically restricted or even prevented from doing so due to their disabilities.

That said, in a 2022 Game Developers Conference survey, only 39 percent of respondents said they had implemented accessibility measures into their game. The rest of those surveyed said “no” or “don’t know / N/A.” One respondent even said, “unfortunately there is still a lot of pushback in implementing accessibility features.”

Therefore, there’s a lot of work that can be done in promoting the importance of accessibility and getting more of the industry on board with implementing such features into their games. With that in mind, those who are interested in gaming from either the consumer or developer side of the industry could get a lot out of #a11yTO Gaming.

Image credit: Eidos Montreal

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