Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) celebrates millions of video game enthusiasts with disabilities around the globe. The eleventh anniversary of GAAD may have been a few weeks ago, but Microsoft has made a remarkable contribution to the event. In addition to the available accessibility features on the Xbox, a Twitch channel associated with American Sign Language has been launched.
In April, Xbox Plays teamed up with the communication service provider known as Sorenson to create an ASL Xbox channel that would feature interpretation for approximately twenty-five hours of livestreams each week. “With ASL interpretation, deaf gamers can join and fully participate in that community,” Sorenson chief relationship officer Lance Pickett mentioned in a statement.
For the last few years, Microsoft has been a leading contributor to making video games accessible. The standard Xbox Series X includes wider accessibility features for gamers who are visually or hearing impaired such as a magnifier to zoom in on the screen and a narrator to read text on the screen. In 2018, the Xbox Adaptive Controller was released for gamers with limited mobility. The Xbox ASL Twitch channel is another step towards accessibility for all streamers. “Nothing should come between players and the games they love, which is why we are dedicated to finding accessibility solutions that help eliminate barriers to play and make it easier to connect with others.” These are the spoken words of Anita Mortaloni, the director of accessibility at Xbox.
Currently, the Xbox ASL Twitch channel is strictly dedicated to signing broadcasts and has 310 followers. The channel itself contains various clips and livestreams in the same format. The main speaker is featured in the center of the screen, while a sign interpreter translates in the bottom right-hand corner. This allows viewers to pay attention to the interpreter without missing any information from the stream. Gamers and streamers who require this assistance will be pleased with the new Xbox ASL Twitch channel as it allows them to participate within the Xbox community.