Pokémon GO

Last modified
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Category

Description of App

Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu, and many other Pokémon have been discovered on planet Earth!
Now’s your chance to discover and capture the Pokémon all around you—so get your shoes on, step outside, and explore the world. You’ll join one of three
teams and battle for the prestige and ownership of Gyms with your Pokémon at your side.

Pokémon are out there, and you need to find them. As you walk around a neighborhood, your smartphone will vibrate when there’s a Pokémon nearby. Take aim
and throw a Poké Ball… You’ll have to stay alert, or it might get away!

Search far and wide for Pokémon and items
Certain Pokémon appear near their native environment—look for Water-type Pokémon by lakes and oceans. Visit PokéStops, found at interesting places like
museums, art installations, historical markers, and monuments, to stock up on Poké Balls and helpful items.

Catching, hatching, evolving, and more
As you level up, you’ll be able to catch more-powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. You can add to your collection by hatching Pokémon Eggs based
on the distances you walk. Help your Pokémon evolve by catching many of the same kind.

Take on Gym battles and defend your Gym
As your Charmander evolves to Charmeleon and then Charizard, you can battle together to defeat a Gym and assign your Pokémon to defend it against all comers.

It’s time to get moving—your real-life adventures await!

Note: This app is free-to-play and is optimized for smartphones, not tablets.

Version

1.0

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

iOS Version

9.3

Accessibility Comments

Currently not accessible at all.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads no page elements.

Button Labeling

No buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is totally inaccessible.

Other Comments

This is currently at limited release, so not all app stores have it. It has been determined to be inaccessible, however.

Developer's Twitter Username

@NianticLabs

Recommendations

0 people have recommended this app

Options

Comments

Submitted by Kristen on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Decided to make the app directory entry for this, as I didn't see it in here yet.

Please reach out to the developers regarding accessibility access for this game - there may be delays in responding, I would imagine, due to it just being released and the fact they're having server issues to contend with.

Submitted by Adaria on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I sent an email about this earlier to them via a bug report on their support site. It was the only contact info I could find for them. Please, reach out if you want this game, the more of us that do maybe the better. I've unfortunately had little success with some developers or companies and never got responses at all from some.

Submitted by Kristen on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I also tweeted at them and posted on their Facebook in addition to submitting a bug report. Hopefully we'll get some response!

I do understand they're probably having a lot of bug reports right now due to the server issues and other bugs to fix from the current release, so it may be a while before they can focus on potential accessibility.

Submitted by Patrick on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I have emailed the people in charge of the privacy policy 4 times requesting that this game be updated to support the use of VoiceOver , but I have not received a reply from them. As I wait I have contacted Apple's accessibility team, Google support, and the NFB, and Apples accessibility team is willing to work with the app developer to make Pokemon go accessible. The other organizations I've contacted said that their is very little they can do.

Submitted by Kristen on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yeah - I've yet to receive any response from the developers, either. I hear they're having a lot of server problems, ec. - I imagine all other issues are probably going to be put on the back burner until the main issues are resolved and the game has been rolled out to all countries.

I wonder if contacting Nintendo of America would help? It's their game and perhaps if the main company pushes back on the developers they'll make it happen.

I was also surprised to learn that the developer used to be a part of Google at one point.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I don't want to discourage anyone from contacting the developer and seeking accessibility fixes - and to be sure, the more of us do it, the more chance we have of something getting done. But don't be surprised that you haven't heard back - this game's explosive popularity I literally unprecedented in the history of mobile technology - it already has more users than Twitter or Tinder, I believe. So no doubt the team of developers is absolutely swamped beyond anything we can imagine right now.

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I think we should start contacting Nintendo of America.

Submitted by Mitchell on Thursday, July 14, 2016

This should not just be a Pokemon Go thing. This should be a push to make the company have accessibility at the heart of all of their games, console or mobile. I'm hoping we can turn this into a full-fledged campaign.

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, July 14, 2016

I hate to be the one who tries to ruin everyone's fun here, but looking at the description of the game, I don't know how on earth this could actually be made accessible? From how I understand it, you walk around your neighborhood and every so often you glace at your phone and an indicator shows how close or far a pokemon actually is, with a map of the area around you for reference. We would need to know how close or far a pokkemon actually is, which one it is, etc. Since this game is completely visual in nature, I don't see any real way of adding accessibility to it, that could be reliable. I'm not saying all this because I've got anything against the game. It's not something I would play around with but I know other people do for obvious reasons. I just think that if people are going to want to make this game accessible to VoiceOver users, having an understanding of how the game works, and a plan as to how they can make it accessible can really help the developers a lot. Sure, you can just write and say hey, we'd like for this game to be accessible to VoiceOver users, but often-times, that's not really enough information for them. They probably have no idea what VoiceOver is, what it does, or how it works. Also, like I said before having an understanding of the game really helps a lot if you're going to request accessibility fixes. Just adding a bit of thoughts here.

Submitted by Mitchell on Thursday, July 14, 2016

I completely understand your thoughts. My only guess is that VO would tell you how far away you were. Qat's all I've got.
Maybe not this game, but future games by Nintendo could be made accessible. From my understanding there will be a Fire Emblem game coming out in the fall on iOS, and I can definitely see it could be accessible.

Submitted by JeffB on Thursday, July 14, 2016

If there is a will there is a way. This can be done GPS apps have been made with interactive maps. At the very least the app could tell you if you are near a Pokemon. You could recieve alerts for when a Pokemon is near. This would be an easier game to make Vo accessible for to as the real world is the playing ground. Also with social media you could follow other people hunting Pokemon and that could help you find them as well. There are so many ways this game can be made accessible. And I hope that it soon will be!

Submitted by Kristen on Thursday, July 14, 2016

My sighted husband has been playing the game and we had a bit of ab rainstorming session on how it could be made accessible.

- The most tricky part would be actually catching the pokemon, as you have to 'aim' and flick pokeballs at it. I figured some sort of audio cue ala Audio Archery would probably wor here.
- Second trickiest part would be the Gym Battles - it is in real-time apparently and you have to swipe left or right to try to dodge attacks, etc. I suppose we could listen for the attack from the other pokemon or something. I wouldn't mind if this was the only thing not accessible.
- When you're walking around looking for pokemon, apparently there is a list of pokemon nearby and how many steps they are away. Therei s also a vibration/alert when one is near enough to catch - so this would probably be fairly easy to be made accessible if the right text info was added in.
- PokeStops/Gyms are overlayed on the Googgle Maps. This may just need some alternatives like a text list of nearest PokeStops and their addresses.

It may not be easy, though with some forward thinking it could be done.

Silly thing is, if they had thought of accessibility from day one in development it'd be much easier to implement.

I just spoke with Nintendo and the person I spoke to took notes of the issue, and he told me that he would give them to Niantic. I also informed him that Niantic could work with Apple to make Pokemon Go accessible .

Submitted by Jesse Anderson on Thursday, July 14, 2016

I agree with the poster who said that it's also important to be more specific on what isn't accessible, and what could possibly be done to make it more accessible. I find that just stating that an app or feature isn't accessible isn't enough. I've had better luck being specific about what problems I'm having, and specific ideas for solving these problems. I've even created unlisted Youtube videos and shared them with developers that demonstrates the issues. The same could be done via audio.

I haven't gotten around to trying Pokémon Go yet. I've never been a fan of the franchise, but may check out the IOS app as a low vision user.

I've seen some gameplay videos though, and I can think of a few ways the game could work with VoiceOver. The information that indicates how many steps a Pokémon is away from you, and which one it is, could be spoken aloud. The capture screen seems to be a kind of augmented reality where the Pokémon appears in the real world using your phone's camera. I'm wondering if a similar type of indicator could be added to the game to let the user know when a Pokémon appears, similar to how VO let's you know how many people are in view when taking a picture. For capturing, something like Audio Archery could work.

I think it's entirely possible the game could be made to work with VO, but don't know how much incentive there is for Nintendo to do so, now that the game isn't early in development any more. I don't know how much of the game would need to be re-worked to make these accessibility changes, and they seem to have their hands full keeping up with the demand of the game as it is.

It's still worth writing to Nintendo and other developers though. I wrote to them about Miitomo already. That would be a much easier app to make accessible.

Submitted by Jesus R on Friday, July 15, 2016

Hello,
I'm not trying to dash everyones hopes here, but I don't see how a lot of this game could be made accessible now. From what I can tell, its an overlay on top of overlay and so on. You actually see what your camera is seeing from time to time if you turn it on, and on top of that or around it is the map, and when you're around a mon, the overlay to ketch it comes up. There is a lot of info that goes on here. I do agree that some parts of the app could be made accessible though, more so the intro screen, the list of mons you have, ETC. The bluetooth accessory will be coming out soon and I do hope that will hope the problem of ketching mons. But at I believe $50 I'm not sure how many blind people will get this if the rest of the game isn't accessible.
From a useibility standpoint, a lot og great audio ideas here, but also a lot of ideas that would need headphones to be warn to ketch things, to evade attacks, ETC. A lot of this game means that you need to walk around a lot. With headphones on, that worries me a bit. We've already had a lot of people have close calls enough as it is. I think we'd have better luck getting the devs to get some kind of API so that other people can make games that are like this, and someone can come up with an audio one for the blind.
I as much as everyone here does hope for accessibility of this game. Its a lot too miss out on, and I can understnad why some peole are frustrated. The social facters, the fitness facters, the inclusive facters, not to mention, that the game is at the top of the app store right now.
I will also post too facebook and see if I can make contact. We need a big visionary though, I would think, this would be a big undertaking on their part.
Just my thoughts

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, July 15, 2016

I guess this is the point, there will be certain game concepts that simply cannot be made accessible or, if they are, they defeat the idea of the game. I think this one is too visuals heavy to make accessible but we should not let this be an excuse in other apps and games which lazy developers can site. Good design is good design and it helps not only blind people and visually impaired people, but the developers themselves to push the envelope of their design capabilities. Look at apple as a case in point, they did something that most people thought impossible and made a blank sheet of glass a gateway device for people who couldn't see.

Submitted by Darrell Shandr… on Friday, July 15, 2016

I just posted a tweet to the username shown in the directory entry asking that the app be made accessible and inclusive for everyone.

Submitted by thunderhorse82 on Friday, July 15, 2016

I am like some others and do not think this game can be made accessible due to the complexity and visuals involved in this game. My sighted friends describe it to me and I just don’t see how. In addition, lets say they made it accessible, due to what would be involved if at all even possible, it will cost them money to perhaps do so which might make it a payed game to cover the extra cost. This is not to dash any hopes, however, this is reality with making some games accessible, it isn’t simply voiceover support, but much more would have to be worked around besides that to make it work. I am not saying it can’t be done possibly, I am just saying there is a real possibility of it not being accessible. I disagree with some, there is no way to make every game that comes out accessible, the NFB wanted all apps to be in there resolution a year or two ago, but this simply isn’t possible due to the visual nature. This is reality, a lot can be made to be accessible, but a lot can not be. It isn’t
just about layout and poor design, much more goes into the process them most people realize. Coding and programming is not easy. This is just one mans view. I hope they can make this game accessible some how, but I am not holding my breath. Also remember, when contacting the developer, be respectful and not pushy ore rude, this gets you no where and will only make them not respond or care.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, July 15, 2016

In reply to by thunderhorse82

I do also understand everyone's frustration, this thing is world wide, everyone is talking about it and, yet again, we're on the outside looking in. I don't have any blind friends, all are sighted and I'd love to geek out and challenge them to the MMOs everyone talks about. Yeah, the sightless games which have come out are cool, but we're going to be better at them because we're used to it... My hope is that we will continue to see games become accessible and this will spread to the mainstream games so everyone has access, no matter location, motor ability, poor hygiene or any other differentiating factor. It is in the developers benefit to 'mop up' that fringe demographic too. And, I completely agree with the previous poster, be polite, we have experience of visual difficulties which have, in some cases lasted all our live,s, these developers haven't, be patient, we do not have any right for anything to be accessible, it is through polite and constructive negotiation that policies are put in place to give us the illusion of rights and that is the same for every person on the planet. Good luck. Personally I can't sleep at night; terrified that there is a pokemon hiding in my bedroom....

Submitted by Kristen on Friday, July 15, 2016

I'm a blind programmer, myself, so I understand some of the challenges that might go into making such things accessible. It may indeed be too difficult to make these changes now, though I'd honestly be happy with just being able to catch the Pokemon and level them up, etc. (some sort of audio cue could be used successfully to help in catching Pokemon, I do believe, though it does add in the need to have headphones to do this.) The most difficult thing to implement accessibility for does sound like the Gym battles.

On the other hand, there are things that should be super accessible already - text fields/login buttons, etc. - that are not accessible by Voice Over at all right now.

The above has me wondering if they used some sort of framework or custom interface that does not have accessibility tools built-in. Heck, it could just be a port from a different language that is not inherently accessible - I'm not sure on the possibility for this in a native IOS app, as I've only done basic programming in IOS, though I do know there are frameworks that do not have accessibility built-in and, as a third party tool, the developers have no real way of adding accessibility.

I'm not going to hold my breath that they will make it accessible. What I am hoping for is that they will actually make an effort in exploring the potential to add accessibility - at least have some sort of meeting about it to consider the possibility and what sort of changes are involved or if the technology they used even allows for it. I'm hoping they don't just ignore us/not respond or flippantly say "I don't think we can do it - it's too visual!" like others are saying here without even doing a proper consideration as to the potential or viability of the idea.

And on a side note - I just realized. Didn't they say they're giving Developers access to Siri/voice commands in IOS 10? If that's the case, perhaps there could be some sort of voice commands for the gym battles - "Use Splash attack!" LOL. I know - sounds weird, but just a thought.

I used to be fully sighted, myself, and watched the TV show as a kid and played all the Pokemon GameBoy games right up until the first gen of the DS. Maybe this just stings a bit more for me since I've missed playing Pokemon and was excited that this was being released on a platform with accessibility possible, only to be disappointed that not even the login text fields are accessible apparently.

Submitted by JeffB on Friday, July 15, 2016

It can be made accessible nothing can never not be its just a question of will it be. Someone said that we don't have a right to demand something be accessible but I tend to disagree. You can only be left out in the cold for so long before you get burned. Anyway here's dreaming and I have not given up hope that it will be unlike some people have.

Submitted by Patrick on Friday, July 15, 2016

I emailed Niantic again, but this time I included some specifics of what could be done to make Pokemon Go accessible. I also included the names of other audio game developers that they could use as a resource.

Submitted by stirlock on Friday, July 15, 2016

Kristen is correct, the game is written in a language (fairly certain it's unity) that does not support accessibility. In fact all text shows up as rendered video, so it is literally impossible to make things read. Access changes would literally have to be made from the ground up. In short, it will happen when hell freezes over.

Submitted by JeffB on Friday, July 15, 2016

Let's move on from the yes no back and forth arguments. There are those of us that will contact the company and hope and dream for Vo support. The rest of you can laugh at us for daring to dream but only time will tell what will happen. There is no use arguing over it. The thing is that 99% of the time you are right, we don't get accessibility support it has never happened for us yet on a game this large. But just because it has not happened yet does not mean it won't. When the Right Brothers dared to defy gravity they were laughed at and today there are thousands of planes in the sky. As someone stated Apple has gone and made a touch screen accessible for the blind. Sometimes big things do happen and shame on us for dreaming for trying. Would you have us give up and say oh well that will never happen? Well how will we know until we try? Even if we try this time and nothing comes of it you can bet that those that wish and hope will try and try again. So shame on me for being a dreamer.

Submitted by Toonhead on Saturday, July 16, 2016

We may not be able to make this game accessible, but why not games in the future? A while back, @Stirlock mentioned that it's entirely possible that they're using what's called Unity, which is a programming language with no accessibility added. so even if they used this language, they couldn't add VoiceOver support without having to rip everything apart and starting from scratch. They're wanting a look and feel from a visual standpoint that is attractive to the eye, which I can totally understand. So, I was thinking that maybe we could find a similar programming language that has accessibility hooks, and request that they write future apps in that language so they could add accessibility right from the start. This won't help for the current games but it could potentially help future ones. Is what i'm proposing even possible? Am I nuts for suggesting such a thing? See, I figure if you're going to request something from a developer, learning how they do things and, for lack of a better term, speaking their language may help us a bit.

Submitted by DMNagel on Saturday, July 16, 2016

Normally when games are somewhat accessible, i have hope because the devs will only have to make a fix here and there. In a case where a game is completely inaccessible, i have none. 100% Inaccessible = 100% do-over. A better idea is perhaps to ask some of the already dedicated devs out there, to make a pokemon game for us. Just my thoughts.

Submitted by Saskia on Saturday, July 16, 2016

As everybody else here I would love the developers to make Pokémon Go more accessible as I have played the games and watched the show as a kid and teenager when I could still see.

However, in the meantime I found a way for myself to play at least some parts of the game even though I still need sighted help for other areas of the game.

I'm legally blind but still have some light/shadow perception, depending of the contrast level of my surroundings or, in this case, of the screen.

My sighted boyfriend helped me to set up my account and to get through the tutorial, i.e. choosing my first Pokémon - Charmander, if anyone wants to know *lol* - and creating my character.

From there on, everytime I'm starting the game, it will take me right to the view of the map.
Now when there is a Pokémon around, my phone will either vibrate or play the Pokémon's sound, depending on my phone settings.
I will now start to tap around the map and try to find the Pokémon - sometimes successful, sometimes it will be long gone, but that's fine for me.
If I manage to find the Pokémon on the map, the sound of the Pokémon will be played again and I'm tapping that again until I can recognize that my phone is switching to the camera screen.

Now I put one finger directly on the camera so that the screen turns all dark. The Pokémon is now projected on a dark background rather than on the real life picture.
With my remaining contrast and light perception I can now actually tell if something is appearing on the dark screen while I'm moving the phone around to find the little Pokémon. Also, the pokéball is located on the same dark background right above the home button and I can flick it towards the Pokémon.

The sounds will tell me if I successfully caught the Pokémon and after that, two pop-ups appear to inform you about the Pokémon you just caught.
The first pop-up has the "Confirm" button pretty much in the middle of the screen, the second one right above the home button. According to my sighted boyfriend, there can't be done much wrong here so I just tap around until I notice the pop-ups to disappear.

Now I'm back on the map, just as in the beginning.

From time to time, a very jolly sound will play and announce an achievement or an level-up, but these pop-ups disappear after tapping them once.

I obviously cannot use the feature to look for Pokémon close by, I have actually to wait for them to come by and my phone vibrating. Also I cannot do anything like leveling them up or sending them to the Professor, I need sighted help to do that.

So I know this is not a real workaround as it requires a certain level of contrast and light perception and will therefore not work for everyone, unfortunately.
Also this is still far from accessible as it allows me to play only a small fraction of the game by myself and still requires a lot of sighted assistance to do the rest.

But I'm quite happy to be able to catch at least some Pokémon, kudos to my BF for coming up with the idea to create a darker background to increase the contrast.
If there are any questions to this method, please feel free to ask as I know my explanationn may be a bit confusing, haha.

I still hope they will put in some thought towards making the game more accessible, but in the meanrtime I wanted to share this little blackening out the camera trick with you, hoping that it might help some of you.

Have a lovely weekend everyonne :)

Submitted by Saskia on Saturday, July 16, 2016

According to a sighted friend of mine, the game states right in the start menu that it is made with Unity, research confirms that, too.
I do not know much about programming, but according to those of you around here who do, this might dash some of the accessibility hopes, right?

Submitted by Kristen on Saturday, July 16, 2016

Unfortunately if it's Unity, that may completely dash any hopes.

I have to wonder if the makers of Unity can be contacted to add in some accessibility hooks and that will trickle down into the apps made by that language if there is some way for the app makers to update their version of Unity.

I'm really starting to hate this Unity! LOL.

I'm guessing, however, due to the name 'Unity', that it likely makes it 'easier' to code something once and have it work on both Android and IOS (this is just a guess, though, as I've yet to do research on it.) If this is the case, I don't blame the developers for using this - it obviously would reduce headaches at having to code 2 separate versions. However, it may be time to focus on Unity itself and see if there is some way to make it possible for future developers to use accessibility hooks in IOS.

Submitted by Kristen on Saturday, July 16, 2016

So I've done some research - very quickly - on Unity accessibility.

There is someone working on a Unity Accessibility plugin - here is Update 1 of her blog series:
https://icodelikeagirl.com/2016/03/27/unity-accessibility-plugin-update…

I also found a forum post where someone said they managed to implement VO support:
http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/add-accessibility-support-voiceover-to…

Still looking into things, though it seems like it is technically possible - either by emulating Voice Over support from Unity itself or some other ways.

Submitted by ispy2016 on Saturday, July 16, 2016

So would it not be wiser to contact unity and get them to get them to incorporate voice over?

I downloaded the game and yeah was a complete failure. But still do not see why it would be completely impossible to make it accessible. After all, so many sites and products, such as the iPhone have done it.

The reason I think the game can be made partially accessible is because certin aspects seem possible. Down below I have listed some of the features I think that can be incorporated with voice over:

The login page – I have been loged out of the game several times, and have to re-login. Re-loging in does not see to be an issue as it seems to work with voiceover. However, I could not begin the game as a fresh user [the initial set-up] as voice over goes completely dead. So having the actual text box fields and stuff should not be to hard, by allowing voice over to read the images. When designing a character, provide a skip button, which will automatically generate one for you.

Now the game has 3 aspects to it: the finding of pokemons, gym battles and PokeStops.

To be honest, I wouldn’t care to much on missing out on the gym battle aspect of the game. This would also be the hardist in my eyes to incorporate, as it is such a visual aspect.
The PokeStops would require some sort of thought to it, and I have none right now, as I am completely typing what ever comes to my head. Good or bad, I let you decide.

The main aspect and most important in my eyes, is the finding and capturing of pokemons. If they could make this accessible I would be more than happy. But where to begin would be the issue.

I don’t think making the map accessible matters to much. As we are blind or close to it, we do not really use a map, unless we know where we are roughly going. And with pokemon, you really don’t know where you are going, just that you need to find a pokemon.

Now finding a pokemon is half accessible, as the phone vibrates when you are close enough to capture a pokemon. I am not sure what kind of noise it makes, when you have the sound feature on, but from other posts, I have gathered that it does indicate when a pokemon is close by.
So the only issue is selecting the pokemon so the capture screen loads up, and then capturing it.
There could be several ways to help with this issue, one of them is by the introduction of the watches. I am using the watches as an a example, as it will clearly illustrate that blind/VI people are more than willing to spend money, as long as the game is accessible/playable.

So if you have got one of the watches, when your phone vibrates, you press a button on the watch and it will take you to the capture screen. You can press the button again, and it will capture the pokemon for you. Otherwise, methods on making the capturing action accessible will have to be thought off.

Remember these are quick points, and they could be better.

Submitted by Mitchell on Saturday, July 16, 2016

If we covd ask to make Unity accessble, imagine how many games would become accessible if Unity had VO hooks. So let's be UNited and see what we can do about Unity.

Submitted by Patrick on Saturday, July 16, 2016

There are some app developers such as something else, kid friendly software, Ananse productions LLC, and LWorks. I mentioned this in a previous email to Niantic stating that they could use them as a resource.

Submitted by Toonhead on Saturday, July 16, 2016

Contacting Unity is an awesome thing to do, but also contact the developers of the apps who use it and encourage them to use hooks into VoiceOver and other accessibility stuff right from the very beginning. This way they won't feel like they're having to re-write the code for the app from scratch, just for a very small group of people. It means the world to the people who use it, but these guys are looking at things from the bottom line, which is number of downloads, good reviews in the appstore, and people recommending the app to their friends. What they're not getting is if they make the app accessible it opens up the app they're developing to an entire audience that they didn't even realize. We're not on their radar screens, so we need to make them aware that a. we'd use the app, and b. that the work that goes into it would be time well-spent for them, and work to their advantage. In other words, they have to have a reason to do it. unfortunately sometimes, it's the right thing to do isn't always going to be enough of a reason to inspire them.

Submitted by Ken Downey on Saturday, July 16, 2016

There is one game out there which uses Unity... and is fully accessible. It's Freeq by Psychic Bunny. It's totally incompatible with VO, so they added vocal support. Other than that, I really am ticked about Unity, because if their platform were accessible, we'd have access to hundreds of games, including most gamebooks. I wish Apple could inclue some OCR tech in the next release of iOS. Imagine its impact on Voiceover!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, July 16, 2016

Actually swift can be compiled to work both on iOs and android so I see no reason why this game were not written in swift. I'm no coder, I only work on improving design of apps, but just some thoughts.

Submitted by Kristen on Sunday, July 17, 2016

I'm assuming Unity 3D was used due to the speed at which an app can be built using it, at least where 3D gaming is concerned. This is a common theme for frameworks such as CakePHP/Jumla, etc., on the web, so I don't see why it wouldn't be on an app developers point of view. Frameworks like this will have already done all the heavy lifting, so to speak - all the usual functionality you'd need to make a 3D game is likely neatly packaged into easy to use bits that developers can quickly use and assemble. For example, in CakePHP, which is a website framework, all the behind-the-scenes coding for interacting with a database, logging users in and encryption/security have already been built - it's like you've already taken a huge step up in the development process and can focus on the project itself, not re-coding the wheel as it were. All the basic code that makes up a generic website is already there and there are tools built in to make the development process even faster. Unity 3D is probably like this, though for a 3D gaming app.

And that's my web developer POV. LOL.

The problem is that the Unity 3D framework does not have accessibility in mind and does not have a pre-built accessibility plugin or anything. It is obviously possible, though, as I did link to a couple places further up - there is even someone attempting to make an accessibility plugin for Unity 3D that would allow for integration with Voice Over, as well as TalkBack on Android. I'm not sure if Unity 3D is open source or not, though a lot of web frameworks are to an extent - usually users can release their own plugins/extensions for such frameworks, which is what the user I found was attempting to do. Hopefully she succeeds, as that would make an accessibility plugin available for the framework that others could essentially download and use with their own apps.

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Sunday, July 17, 2016

First, here is one guide on how to play Pokémon Go without vision: http://forum.audiogames.net/viewtopic.php?id=19300. You might also find it helpful to read some of the comments as they also provide information about gameplay for players with visual impairment.

I do not think that it is a good investment of the developer's time to rewrite the app to support VoiceOver for iOS and Talkback for Android. This would require the whole app to be redesigned for nonvisual access, including rewriting every part of the app. What I can reasonably imagine that the developer could do (and I doubt that the developer will do this as the blind community is practically a non-existent market to them) is that they could introduce an "audio mode". Tapping in a certain part of the screen when the app first launches could introduce a mode where there is voice feedback and more use of sounds to make it possible for players with visual impairment to play the game. In time, the two modes could eventually merge so that complete sound access is provided in the regular game modes; this would increase the usability of the game for many more people.

Submitted by Kristen on Monday, July 18, 2016

Just a note that there is no way to know that adding accessibility access would require an entire rewrite of the app - it would require extra coding, yes, though I doubt it'd require an entire rewrite considering there does seem to be a way for Unity 3D to be given a plugin or something to help make it accessible. I think it'd be akin to adding an extra layer, though don't think it'd cause the rest of the game to be compromised. Either way, only the game developers would know how much work it'd be.

Anyhow - thanks for the link on suggestions on how to play without vision. I'll have to check that out.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, July 18, 2016

Has anyone gotten a rewponse from their twitter or the developers email? I don't think we have but let's keep trying.. I'm not a pokimon fan, but I would love to give the game a try one day. I used to watch the cartoons when they came out and I was like in my 20s. Lol!

Submitted by Patrick on Monday, July 18, 2016

I have not received an email from Niantic yet.

Submitted by Patrick on Monday, July 18, 2016

Is this an issue that the ADA could assist with?

Submitted by Kristen on Monday, July 18, 2016

ADA, I don't believe, would be able to assist. I don't think there is any way US legislation can affect whether an app is accessible or not. It's an app/game, not a website, so likely they have no fear of legislation nor any legal requirement to make the app/game accessible.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, July 18, 2016

In reply to by Patrick

Because this is not government related it is not relevant to section 508 I don't think, so in this case we are on our own. I could be wrong but the ADA is for public places and government related matters.

Submitted by Blinken223 on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I tried providing feedback to Niantic through their online form but when I click submit, I don't get any confirmation whatsoever. Is there something I am missing?

Submitted by Kristen on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Regarding the form - there are some dropdown boxes to select OS and type of phone, etc., that are pretty difficult to use with a screen reader. I'm not sure if that may be the issue you're having - it won't let you submit without changing them. I know I had to have my sighted husband change them for me, though it may work better on IE (I was using Firefox.)

Submitted by Raul on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

There are two drop-down menus: Device manufacturer and Operating system. What I did is press VO+Space on one, arrowed down until I found the one I wanted and I clicked on the option. To do thas I pressed VO+CMD+F5 to place the mouse on the VO cursor and then VO+Shift+Space to click.

Submitted by ispy2016 on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

has anybody tried the game with other assistive software? talkback?
or has anybody tried to get it to work on their laptop? if so, would love to know if jaws or if NVDA would work on it.

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