Screen Reader Compatability

Is there some information somewhere about how to make games compatible with a screen reader? Advice for testing with a screen reader? (Are screen readers different, or known to handle certain code differently?) A primer on common issues (or not-so-common issues), or features that might be more helpful for people who use screen readers than people who don’t? Is there any good screen reading software that’s cheap/free for developers so I can do some testing up front and see how it handles?

I plan to seek out people who use screen readers for beta-testing, but that’s pretty far in the future, and it would be nice to design my game so it doesn’t have any obvious problems up front, so I only have to iron out the worst of the details.

Wade Clark (severedhand) has some great blog posts on the subject.

I can’t find them right now, but I know they’re not a figment of my imagination because they were too good for that.

Wade’s accessibility posts start here.

And there are some more useful observations in this thread.

Here are the posts Peter mentioned: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

There was also a discussion on the forum here.

EDIT: Ninja.

Awesome. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. It’s really good to have a place to start.

I was just thinking, “maybe there should be a page on the IF Wiki for this topic”–and there already is one: … nd_players

Ah, I searched the IF Wiki, but I must not have searched hard enough.

Outside IF, is the big resource I know for this. They are ridiculously responsive on Twitter, too.

I really like the ablegamers site; there’s some definite food for thought in asset creation there that I hadn’t really considered properly.

I’ve read through several of the accessibility articles mentioned, but I’m still confused about one point. When using a screen reader, how is the status bar of a game audibly portrayed? Is it skipped entirely or are the new words and/or numbers interjected into the text? Or is there some other way it’s handled?

It sounds like with some screen readers, you need to use keypresses to see it, and with others, it may not be possible to see it at all.