Media Releases

University of Toronto launches the first AbleGamers Game Accessibility Arcade for gamers with disabilities in Canada

April 28, 2014

TORONTO, ON – On Saturday April 26th, the Semaphore Research Cluster (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto) launched the first Canadian AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade, a permanent installation in the Semaphore space in U of T’s Robarts Library. It includes the most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games.

“My hope in bringing AbleGamers and Semaphore together is that the arcade will be used as a hub for critical discussion, research and innovation relating to identifying and overcoming accessibility and design limitations found in digital games and gaming technologies,” said Dr. Sara Grimes, assistant professor at the Faculty of Information and Associate Director of Semaphore.

“Not only can the arcade be used to discover and explore the various adaptive technologies currently available to disabled gamers, but also as a place for thinking about additional ways in which we can make digital play even more inclusive, customizable and adaptable–from DIY design solutions to intervening at the level of policy and industry standards of practice,” said Dr. Grimes.

“I am so proud that AbleGamers was able to establish our Accessibility Arcade at U of T,” said Mark Barlet, Founder and Executive Director of the AbleGamers Charity. “I think that the event was just the start, looking at the capabilities Semaphore has at their disposal, I know the students are going to build on this in ways I cannot even dream. All gamers with disabilities are going to benefit from this,” he concluded.

The launch was well-attended by both researchers and members of the public. The arcade will be permanently open to the public by appointment. For more information, please contact Amy Ratelle, Semaphore Research Coordinator at amy.ratelle@utoronto.ca.

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Contact Information:
Semaphore Research Cluster
140 St. George Street
Tel: 416-978-0891
semaphore.utoronto.ca