Closed - Ease of Access

Thanks for participating in the Ease of Access Idea Drive, one of the longer running Idea Drives on the site! We asked you to provide your suggestions and comments to help uncover ways TEAM XBOX can continue to improve options for accessibility so that gaming on Xbox and Windows is a great experience for everyone. 

If you'd like to continue to provide suggestions and comments, visit the weekly Xbox Features thread we've started at http://aka.ms/xboxrequests and join the conversation in the most recent thread. You can leave us ideas you have for all facets of Gaming, include Game Accessibility, Xbox System Accessibility and Accessibility Feature Improvements. We will have a follow-up blog post on the Insider section of the Xbox Wire available over the next couple months.

Thanks again for your participation! 

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  1. Allow Users to Change the Position of Notifications to Not Obscure Content

    Ensure system level functionality does not interfere with in-game accessibility functionality. An example is system notifications appearing in the bottom-middle, where they obscure in-game subtitling/captioning.

    Bottom/middle subtitle positioning is standard across industries, so the notifications need to be positioned somewhere else. Notifications appearing at the bottom-middle can sometimes be game-breaking even for players who don’t have subtitles turned on. For example, Telltale’s games, where notifications obscure conversation choices; choices that a player must read and choose from within a time window of just a few seconds.

    Bottom-middle aside, the bottom corners usually have more critical information (i.e. information that needs…

    803 votes
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    10 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Resizable Fonts Across the System

    Some of us are getting older, and the decrease of the fonts on screen it's making deaf and foreign people seat nearer of the screen to read the text and subtitles. Some devs doesn't care about this when they are developing games on the pc screens, but our tv can be farer than they think.

    So make mandatory to have resizeable fonts for game subtitles and also implement it on the OS

    537 votes
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    12 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Allow Users Choices for System Font

    Difficulty reading is a wide umbrella, and within that dyslexia is also a wide umbrella, covering a range of different symptoms and a range of different fixes. Typography can be a factor, with different typefaces working well for different people. Some have had their lives changed by easy-read typefaces, others need as simple and familiar typeface as possible.

    Research into a single helpful solution has therefore understandably been inconclusive. It is most helpful to offer a choice. For example, allow users to choose between an on-brand default, a basic familiar sans serif typeface such as Arial/Verdana, and an easy-read typeface.

    417 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Pre-defined chat messages

    Having a set of pre-defined chat messages (ideally pre-definable by users) could be useful for many people, but particularly valuable for people who find typing a difficult, painful or lengthy process, including common ground between impaired motor ability, hearing loss, and impaired speech.

    It could be particularly powerful if combined with switch access and speech <-> text.

    Having a basic set of presets has another use case; a parental lock to only allow sending/receiving messages that are constructed from those presets. This is a common approach in online environments aimed at or with a high proportion of children, such as…

    376 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Allow Power Wheelchair Controls to Connect to the Accessibility Controller via Bluetooth or ECU

    Most people with mobility impairments who use power wheelchairs have a controller that is easy for them to use. Their wheelchair controller! By switching from Drive Mode to one of the Environmental Control Unit modes, the player could utilize the controller of their wheelchair as one of the directional controls for the XAC.

    314 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Disable Autoplaying Elements on the Dashboard

    Autoplaying video/animation/text scrolling can cause significant problems for people with attention related conditions, such as ADD, or predictability related conditions, such as autism.

    This can be achieved either by default or through offering a toggle, with execution working in different ways for different types of element. Freezing until the element is selected, freezing until the element received focus, or even removing the element entirely, for example swapping a video out for an image.

    The YouView set-top box offers this exact functionality, a toggle to turn off the picture-in-picture programme guide preview.

    263 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. Accessibility Information and Configuration Should Be Part of Initial Console Setup

    The ability to change console settings – high contrast, text to speech etc – before initial setup, including an audio prompt to turn on text to speech. This would allowing independent use from the moment of turning the device on for the first time.

    This would also be an ideal point to educate first time users about what kind of functionality is available, for example by providing a captioned and audio described overview video.

    254 votes
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    5 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Easy mode for the system interface

    A simpler alternative interface could be great for a wide range of groups. People who encounter barriers with understanding or remembering complex interfaces, children, even some people with motor or vision impairment would benefit from simpler navigational structure. Access only to the core content items that they need to access, without being able to get lost in menu options that aren’t relevant to them.

    This already exists on other platforms. One example is the easy mode found on Asus smartphones, which gives you a single fixed simplified interface. But some Doro phones go further and allow any section of the…

    229 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Distinct or Configurable Sounds for Notifications

    Provide additional audio cues for people who for vision or cognitive reasons are unable to read the notifications that only appear on-screen for a fixed period. Ideally different sounds for different types of notification, allowing some to be understood without the need to go into the notifications log. This would also mean some added convenience for gamers in general, as there is less need to shift focus from gameplay.

    225 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. implement the Text-to-speech API for Microsoft Games

    Make integrating text to speech in game menus a priority. Currently, totally blind users need to use sighted help or use complex solutions to read the menus on games that are otherwise quite accessible. Implementing text-to-speech on menus would go a long way to making many games accessible to totally blind players.

    193 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  11. Add Text Names to Color Selections for Colorblind Users Across the Console

    Currently the options to choose the colors of the system menus is done solely via color swatches, meaning if you're colorblind you have no idea whether you're choosing grey or pink, purple or blue etc.

    The same applies to the avatar customisation, with the leaked video showing use of a color wheel for choosing eye colors and obviously choices of different colored clothing too. It is a real world issue too, the same issue exists when buying clothes. But unlike real life, here there's a chance to address it in a consistent and reliable way.

    171 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Provide A More Direct Route for Accessibility Feedback on Console

    While the uservoice forum is great, visibility of it could be better. A permanent call for feedback directly from the ease of access settings on the console might be a nice way of increasing visibility.

    145 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Controller assist

    Provide a menu of controller functions that can be brought up and chosen from at any time – hit a shortcut, then be shown a selectable list of every direction/button on the controller. This enables access for people who are only able to operate a restricted number of inputs on the controller.

    At one end of the scale, a game that relies heavily on every button, and a player who can use most of the inputs, apart from lacking the strength to click in L3 and R3. Hit the shortcut button, and choose L3/R3 from the list.

    At the other…

    147 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. A One Handed Controller

    Hello, it can be possible to develop, a smaller controller with all button access near. Like your adaptive controller, but smaller with one stick or cross and all button near access one hand. Or like Hori mini-controller with slice button on face.

    131 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Create a Controller That's Easier to Use for Older People

    Development of a controller for older people that's much easier to use.

    115 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Color Palette Settings on Dashboard for People with Kinds of Colorblindness

    It would be very useful if there were changing settings in the color palette of the dashboard for people with some type of color blindness, such as protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, etc.

    113 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Separate Mic for People With Hearing Aids

    I hope I’m not the only one, but I got hearing aid wires that can connect to 3.5 mm audio ports. I’ve got problems with hearing my Xbox Live party with the headset With the headset, I can speak into it easily, but I had no choice but to hear my Xbox Live party through the TV. I would like Microsoft to have an official mic of their own for those who have hearing aids and have got special wires for them.

    101 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Single/dual switch access

    Accessibility switches are inputs use by people who can't use traditional devices. They take many forms, such as an infra-red blink detector or a headrest mounted button, but they all work in the same way – sending a simple on/off signal, acting as a single button/keypress. Hence why they're called switches.

    The input sometimes registers as an existing controller button, sometimes external Bluetooth devices. And now via the Xbox Adaptive Controller, easy to set up to map directly to controller inputs.

    There are lots of people who use switches who are only able to use one or two. A single…

    94 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. Create Official "Standardized" Modular accessories for the Adaptive Controller

    The Adaptive Controller is an awesome idea, not only for disabled gamers, but for able gamers as well. As a fan of games with crazy (but costly) peripherals like Steel Batallion, racing wheels, train controllers (http://dreamcastgaga.blogspot.de/2013/06/densha-de-go-dreamcast-controller.html), DJ turntables etc. this could be a great base for cheap controller accessories.

    The Adaptive Controller is the "base" with all the intelligent controller logic, and peripheral makers "only" need "dumb" digital switch contacts or analogue sliders packed into a cheap plastic shell that fits the game's input need.

    Or take the game Elite Dangerous. A complex simulation where you have to…

    86 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Configurable double-tap and hold

    Offer a less motor-demanding alternative wherever these actions are required, in the same way as being able to configure double-click speed in Windows.

    No matter what amount of time is set as the default, it will always be too difficult for some and too frustrating for others, so being able to configure it allows everyone to operate those core commands in a way that suits their own abilities and preferences. Being able to set up an alternative to having to double tap or hold would also be helpful.

    81 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Xbox System Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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What Exactly Does Ease of Access Mean?

We're looking for new hardware and software suggestions that will make it easier for people with disabilities to enjoy the Xbox console and services. We’re eager to learn more from you and to share that information as a team.

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