International Bilingual Conference (Montreal, August 17-18, 2023)

This space for dialogue and networking between academia, industry, and community will promote the sharing of knowledge and the creation of partnerships between all those concerned with accessibility issues, including those for whom such realities are part of everyday life.


As soon as game accessibility found its way into academic, professional, and community circles, several sporadic, fragmented, and dispersed initiatives were deployed. Whether it is about the elaboration of good development practices (Miesenberger et al., 2008; Grammenos et al., 2009; Garber, 2013; Rajjab, 2019; Aguado-Delgado, 2020; Brown & Anderson, 2020), the creation and/or promotion of accessibility guidelines (Game Accessibility Guidelines ; Barlet & Sponh, 2012; Dealessandri, 2022; White & Wojciakowski, 2022), or writing documentation for middleware design (Ossmann et al., 2008; Porter & Kientz, 2013; Vickers et al., 2013), this disjointed state of knowledge implies some limitations. Indeed, although these proposals remain crucial for the creation of knowledge about game accessibility, they often give precise solutions to specific problems, or remain isolated without a transversal dialogue between communities.

However, in recent years, we have seen the emergence and convergence of contributions that are specifically dedicated to video game accessibility. In civil society, we can recognize projects such as AbleGamers founded in 2004. From the industry, we can think of the Game Accessibility Conference launched in 2017. In academia, we observe the recent publication of the anthology Gaming Disability edited by Ellis, Leaver and Kent in 2023. Furthermore, the inclusion of people with disabilities in co-design processes enriches the understanding of accessibility and guides the production of games with more clarity (Porter & Kientz, 2013; Steen, 2013; Sarmiento, 2015; Holloway et al., 2019). On a general level, it is now more widely acknowledged that progress in terms of accessibility is not only beneficial for people with disabilities. From a user experience standpoint, such progress can greatly contribute to making video games more accessible and enjoyable for the entire video game community (Dupuis, 2022).

Despite these notable advancements, there is still a lot to be done to break down the barriers that confine knowledge in each sector and establish an intersectoral dialogue between the communities concerned by video game accessibility. To further contribute to this collective effort and enable such conversation, the mission of this symposium is twofold. The first day will feature a series of presentations designed to consolidate, deepen, and flesh out the state of research and creation in terms of accessibility. The second day will offer a series of roundtables bringing together people from all communities so they can share and discuss their experiences and concerns.


Suggested themes:

Those interested in submitting a proposal for an intervention at this conference are invited to consider (but are not limited to) the following themes:

Human and experience:

• Accessibility and the right to cultural participation (streaming, modding, etc.).

• Critical perspectives on accessible or inaccessible gaming experiences.

• Ethical duty towards accessibility in the workplace, game space, and player space.


Design and features:

• Analysis of exemplary games in terms of accessibility or inaccessibility.

• Case studies of a specific accessibility feature.

• How to present accessibility options in games.


Tools and resources:

• Available tools (and current needs) for developers to prevent accessibility barriers.

• Assistive technology in gaming spaces.

• Accessibility production framework and roadmap.



• How to make an accessible indie game?

• Strategies to raise awareness about accessibility in academia and industry.

• How to teach accessibility in universities and businesses?



• History of video game accessibility.

• State of video game accessibility academic research.

• Accessibility and user experience (UX)


Types of Proposals:

1. Conference: title of the presentation + 500 words and bibliography .

2. Roundtables (moderator/host): Title of the roundtable, 200-word description summarizing your interest in/expertise on accessibility.

3. Roundtables (panelist): Type of round table you are interested in and summary of your expertise/background in video game accessibility (note that speakers will automatically be invited to participate in the roundtable day).

• Please specify in which language (French or English) you wish to make your presentation.

• Please send your anonymized proposal to

Deadline for receipt of proposals: April 3rd, 2023.

• Proposals will be evaluated through a double-blind peer review process by the organizers with the support of a scientific committee.


Powered by La Guilde du jeu vidéo du Québec, this conference is the result of a collaboration between the Education and Research Unit in Creation & New Media at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, accessibility specialists from three major Montreal video game development studios — Eidos-Montréal (Améliane F. Chiasson, Accessibility Manager), Ubisoft Montréal (David Tisserand, Senior Accessibility Team Manager) and WB Games Montréal (Sean Rajjab, Accessibility Project Manager) —, and Nôrdika Studio (Alec Ménard) and Les Studios Shishi (Frédéric McNamara), two independent studios whose main mandate is to create accessible games..

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