role=dice for #a11yTOgaming

I had the pleasure / terror of presenting a table-top RPG presentation at this year’s accessibility Toronto gaming (#a11yTOgaming) event.

My 0riginal PowerPoint presentation, which includes my speaker notes / ignored script as well as the videos (79MB). Or grab the much smaller video-free tagged PDF (13.2MB).

A set of awkward books with leather-seeming covers with raised textures of geometric organic shapes; one on book is multi-facted shiny black fractured pyramid with bright red and blue shapes; in the background are more of those and maybe small skulls; the photo has  shallow field of focus.
The background for my slides, generated from Midjourney with the seed phrase a d20 fantasy gaming die is sitting on a wooden table among leather books, photorealistic, depth of field, close-up, 3D render ‐‐ar 16:9.

Assorted links I presented in the talk:


Videos used in the talk follow. I made no effort to compress these as I wanted them just for the presentation. I opted to drop them here anyway though.

Slide 24

Sadly, D&D Beyond is useless for keyboard-only users, and nearly useless for screen reader users. Where tables might make sense, only one is used. Headings are used in places I would not expect. Links don’t make sense in their use. Just trying to understand the structure of the page is difficult.

Slide 29

D&D Beyond is not perfect. It has barriers, but also provides useful features to bring others into the game. The integration with your virtual table-top, or VTT, is a feature. You can roll skills from the character sheet, attacks and damage, or anything else where a die roll is required. It will automagically carry over to the VTT.

Slide 34

Unfortunately, VTTs do not work well with keyboard alone. And definitely not with screen readers. This is not an accessibility audit. This video is Foundry Version 10 Build 286, or the latest release. It is full of unlabeled controls, no focus styles, interesting choices for headings, and so on. As soon as I launch the page and try tabbing, at least I end up on the text box that allows me to drop a message into the chat area. It is the same box as used for rolling a die. When I do something there is no announcement. If I try to navigate by element type in order to get some idea of the structure of the page, what the headings are, what the regions are, how the controls are named, I don’t get a lot that is useful. At least I can find my way to the dice buttons and then roll the one I want. But then I need to navigate by headings to get to the outcome of my roll, hoping no others are rolling at the same time. I want to be clear that the Roll 20 VTT has similar problems. They are both nearly impossible to use without a mouse.


Yeah, just the one that wasn’t mine.

Live D&D

Devon Persing DM’d a brief session with Steve Saylor, Shell Little, Sarah Higley, and I. My assigned character was a tabaxi wizard I named Dandy Copperfur. As far as I know, there are no photos. Except this one where I showed off the DM screen I brought.

A wooden box large enough to hold D&D books, opened on its side with wooden wings extended; the face of the box is black leather border, read leather center, red foil detail on the edges, and a silver foil cthulhu in the middle.
Master Tome Gaming Box by Elder Wood.

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