As a long time roleplayer, who is also visually impaired, it is sometimes a challenge to navigate mod journals and get information on games. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates there are approximately 10 million visually impaired people in the United States, of which approximately 1.3 million are legally blind, so I know I am not alone in sometimes getting frustrated trying to navigate games. Most of the time, it's due to stylistic issues – and other times it's due to limitations of Insanejournal (which is another rant all together!) I know a lot of people are simply don't think about making their games accessible to roleplayers with low vision. However, a few small changes can make a game much more accessible to people who use high contrast, large print and other adapted browsers. Things That Low Vision Roleplayers Have Problems Seeing
1.Ultra small font - This is the bane of not only low vision Rpers, but older ones as well. I know it looks snazzy, but for those of us who use either large font web browsers, or adapted browsers, it can render poorly and become virtually unreadable.
2.Colors to indicate important things – Using different colors to indicate if a character is taken, held, or other status on a hold page doesn't render at all if you are using a high contrast browser. High contrast browsers render a page as a black background with white text and a single color for links. This can also be a problem for those who are colorblind.
3.Extremely wide tables - This is another problem for people who use large font browsers. Tables that span more than 600 end up rendering off the page, and it doesn't always scroll over. I tend to not apply this to PB pages, because there isn't as much text, but for text heavy pages, it really is much easier to have medium width tables.How To Test Your Game for AccessabilityCompatibility with High Contrast Browsers
If you have Windows 7, you can hit left alt, left shift and print screen and that will turn on high contrast browsing. Using Firefox, browse your game and make sure all of the important information is readable. OS X also has high contrast settings under its “Accessibility” options.Compatibility with Large Fonts
- Using any browser, simply hit ctrl then + 3 or 4 times until the font is fairly large. It helps to check this in both Firefox and Chrome, since both render large text differently. Firefox tends to increase only font, while Chrome enlarges the entire page.
I hope these small suggestions help you in planning mod journals so that games are accessible to all. When I lost my vision two years ago to a rare autoimmune disease, I honestly worried that I would have to quit my favorite hobby. I am very happy that two years later, I am still enjoying RP thanks to my high contrast browser and occasional use of text-to-speech programs.