Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Virtual Reality Has An Accessibility Problem

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
person looks and reaches while wearing VR goggles

Credit: Getty Images

Virtual reality is often touted as a democratizing way to access new worlds and experiences. It's increasingly being used in health care, education, and the workplace for everything from diversity and inclusion initiatives to virtual trips to distraction during unpleasant medical procedures. But in terms of accessibility, VR still has a long way to go.

Many of those with limited mobility can't experience VR without assistance, and even with a headset on, many can't make the head or body movements necessary to get the full experience. The problem isn't limited to those with physical impairments; conditions like autism and anxiety can also make using VR difficult or even harmful.

One blind respondent to a 2017 survey by the Disability Visibility Project noted that VR was not compatible with the assistive technology they used. Several respondents explained that anything that required the use of more than one controller—as many room-scale VR experiences do—was out of the question because of challenges with motor skills or lack of two typically functioning hands or arms.

From Scientific American
View Full Article


No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account