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Sharon K. Nichols, Assistive Technology Consultant, TSBVI Outreach

Abstract: This article describes educational and entertainment computer games available for students who are blind or visually impaired.

Key Words: Blind, visually impaired, computer games, accessible games, educational games, resources.

How many times have you heard your child or student ask for computer games which are accessible? Did you know that they do in fact exist? Or are you still struggling to view playing computer games as a viable learning experience? While I might agree that students might benefit from more educationally sound games, accessible computer games offer a "fun" way to learn computer skills. It is also important to remember that games may require the player to apply, and therefore develop, such skills as information and resource management; strategic planning; and thinking skills.

You are not alone in your concern about computer games, but that has not stopped computer gaming from becoming a multi-billion dollar industry. According to "Off to college to major in ... video games?", an article in the Christian Science Monitor, "video games seem to be gaining academic stature". The article goes on to state that, "A few big-name universities are toying with the serious side of video games. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University offer curricula on video-game criticism, games as educational tools, and game design." For more of the article, go to .

But I digress. There is still the question of your student or child who is visually impaired having access to quality, accessible games. I will take this opportunity to familiarize you will the wealth of choices available for accessible games. The games are listed in alphabetical order, with no preference or ranking. Please read the accompanying web pages for game information and pricing.

  • Bavisoft Software for the Blind and Visually Impaired - "Bavisoft has amazingly and irrevocably changed the computer gaming industry. In place of graphics, our audio games are powered purely with sound imagery, opening a new world of entertainment for the blind and visually impaired. Utilizing the skills of professional programmers, sound engineers, musicians, and voice talent Bavisoft provides game players with unparalleled music and sound quality, creating a gaming experience like they've never imagined possible. Absolutely no vision is required to play these games!"
  • BSC Games - "We specialize in creating accessible computer games for the blind or visually impaired. We use the latest Microsoft DirectX technologies in our games to bring quality entertainment to our customers at extremely competitive pricing. BSC Games is owned and operated by Justin Daubenmire, who himself is blind."
  • Code Factory - Maker of Mobile Speak software for cellular phone accessibility, this company also offers educational and entertainment games.
  • Draconis Entertainment - "Draconis Entertainment is dedicated to delivering high quality entertainment products to both sighted and non-sighted persons, with a focus on accessible computerized audio games for the blind and visually impaired."
  • Games for the Blind - "Accessible Games SV are designed specifically for visually impaired and blind computer users. I am totally blind and wrote these games myself." The games are self-voicing and do not require a screen reader.
  • Future Boy! - This game is not specifically designed for students who are blind or visually impaired, but you can set the prompts to be spoken from the Options menu. This game requires a screen reader, such as JAWS or Window Eyes for full accessibility.
  • National Federation of the Blind "Games and Entertainment Files"
  • Audio Games - This site is a database of all available audio games. Not all links on this site are valid, so use at your own discretion. This web site also has a link to Audyssey Magazine, a magazine dedicated to blind and visually impaired gamers.

I hope this information is useful, and don't forget Christmas is coming!