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 Voice Commands in Games Via Headsets

    Kinect was as much about speech recognition as it was about motion tracking. But games that employed voice commands almost exclusively did so via the Kinect hardware and not by headset microphones. Since then, Cortana was integrated into Xbox. But it is only applied to the Xbox interface and not to games.

    If voice commands via any headset (not exclusively through Microsoft accessories) were supported for games, it would greatly advance the console in two ways.

    First, it would empower disabled gamers by supplanting or augmenting motor controls with voice controls, thereby expanding and improving accessibility.

    Second, it would help…

    829 votes
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    10 comments  ·  Game Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. 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 →
  3. Allow Keyboard Mapping for the Xbox Adaptive Controller

    The new Adaptive Controller has a lot of potential but despite being windows 10 compatible you can't map keyboard commands to it which limits what could be a fantastic device not only for gaming but also education.

    143 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Accessibility Feature Improvements  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. 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 →
  5. 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 →
  6. 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 →
  7. Allow Audio Balance Adjustment for Users with Partial Hearing Issues

    It'd be nice if some L/R audio balance features were exposed for those of us who have partial hearing issues in only one ear. Especially for a game like Hellblade, or even in the recent UI changes which have stereo effects.

    354 votes
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    7 comments  ·  Accessibility Feature Improvements  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. 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 →
  9. Makaton Support Videos

    With the introduction of the adaptable controller, the community has a chance to welcome new gamers into our community.
    A lot of adults with learning difficulties can be quite isolated, not all of them have friends or family around them and most support workers do not have the time to learn Xbox related issues.
    As an ambassador, it is part of my personal belief that to aid our community efficiently, we must find a way to communicate with them.
    With that in mind, I propose that a series of support videos are created, videos which have not only a person…

    191 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Accessibility Feature Improvements  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. 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 →
  11. 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 →
  12. Colorblind Information on Product Pages in Store

    A descriptive information field when purchasing games digitally from the store (and possibly on physical copies as well) under the Capabilities List that states Colorblind Accessibility Yes or No.

    I believe having this as a description that developers would have to submit with the game might remind them to incorporate colorblind options with their games. Many devs forget about colorblind players even though there are a lot of us.

    There are many games I wait to purchase until I can find out if colorblindness is going to cause an issue, especially PVP team shooters, RTS, and card or board type…

    237 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Game Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. 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 →
  14. 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 →
  15. System level preference for voice chat

    Gamers who do not use voice chat, for reasons of impairment or otherwise, are routinely excluded from online gaming, kicked out by other players.

    Text to speech and speech to text are not always an answer, even with the best technology there will be players who are simply not willing to communicate with others, through preference or due to a condition. It is unfair for these people to be kicked out of games, and unfair for players who want to use communication to be forced to play with gamers who do not communicate.

    Being able to show other players what…

    208 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Game Accessibility  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. 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 →
  17. 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 →
  18. 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 →
  19. 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 →
  20. Audio Description in Movies and TV for Vision Impaired Users

    For movies and TV, provide Audio Description audio tracks for those who are blind or have low vision, and cannot see what is happening on the screen.

    Additionally, give an option to play this audio track either through main audio output, or over a connected headset, so the visually impaired viewer can take in the audio description without forcing others with whom they are watching content to also listen to the audio description. Would enhance the "Together" experience.

    138 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Accessibility Feature Improvements  ·  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.

We look forward to receiving and exploring your feature requests via Xbox Ideas. Let’s build a more inclusive Xbox together!

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