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Improving Accessibility for Blind and Low-Vision Gamers

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CoreCon chose the National Federation of the Blind of North Dakota, State Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind, as their main charity this year. In light of this, many CoreCon staff members wondered, “Why don’t we see many blind people gaming?”

CoreCon’s Game Central library is full of hundreds of titles. However, when we dug in further to find how many blind people can use, we found only three. Gaming companies make Braille Monopoly, Braille UNO, and Braille playing cards. Just recently however a new company has started making braille card sleeves for some existing games. 64ouncegames.com/ is where you can find them. Kudos to you for helping fill this niche.

This extremely small selection is limited even more when you take into account that not all blind people can read Braille. Their fingers may not be sensitive enough, they may have become blind later in life, or they just simply don’t know how.

2020 is a good year for us to focus on how to expand the options for blind gamers. We are excited to announce that the NFB of ND is co-hosting an accessibility game night with Paradox Comics n Cards. This event about raising expectations is called “It’s Your Turn.” On March 7th from 12 PM to 10 PM, you will have a great opportunity to support gaming and accessibility. Paradox has been working with 64 Oz Games who are the makers of tools many blind and low-vision people need to play games. They will have tables with the ability to play Pandemic, Love Letter, Dominion, 7 Wonders, Sushi Go, Splendor, Sheriff of Knottingham, and Red Dragon Inn.

There is a group of CoreCon staff members who are working on a system that will allow blind and low-vision people to join us at the gaming tables at our convention. Ultimate Werewolf, Secret Hitler, and Mafia will all be adapted at CoreCon this year.

If you are interested in helping with this important endeavor, there are many opportunities for you to do so. You can donate directly to the NFB of ND or bid on items during the CoreCon silent auction. To contribute items to the silent auction, please contact charityevents@fargocorecon.org. All proceeds will go directly to the NFB of ND.

Interested in helping adapt games? Volunteer as a beta tester by contacting accessibility@fargocorecon.org. We will also accept 3D-printed dice for the gaming library. A tutorial can be found at Geek Girl Authority “Printing Braille polyhedral dice.

We are excited by all of these new efforts towards making games more accessible, and we hope you can help!