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Games Launched After January 1, 2019 Must Be Accessible for Disabilities Under CVAA Legislation (US)


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The IGDA (International Game Developers Association) on December 31, 2018, pushed new details regarding CVAA (21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act 2010). The high level CVAA will require any communications functionality and any UI used to be compliant and suitable for those with a wide range of conditions. Failure to comply will allow complaints to be made to the FCC and possible fines.


The CVAA covers accessibility for all advanced communications services including voice chat, text chat, and video chat, including those in-game software, gameplay and distribution networks, and consoles. The IGDA states that the games industry has had a series of waivers with the last being for game software but expired on December 31.


  • Games that enter development after this date must be fully compliant.
  • Games already in development after this date but released after it must be as compliant as possible, how far through development the game was at Dec 31st may be taken into account in case of a complaint.
  • Games released before this date that receive substantial updates after it must also be compliant.


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Here's how this will go down:


- Developers won't comply because they don't want to take time out of their development schedules, and they think no one will notice;

- Someone will notice and lodge a complaint with the FCC, landing a popular developer in hot water; and

- GamerGaters will find a female gamer who's deaf and mock/harass her endlessly out of retaliation, even if she wasn't the one who made the complaint.

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At a high level CVAA requires any communications functionality and any UI used to navigate to or operate it to be accessible to people with a wide range of conditions, from no sight to no color vision..


Wait, are they saying developers must make their UIs usable by the blind? Because, I don't think that's reasonable. Hopefully I'm just misunderstanding

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