Introducing the Accessibility VRCs

Oculus Developer Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
November 11, 2020
High Priority Issues

As we focus on making the future of VR human, it's imperative that the wonderful new worlds and realities that you are building can be enjoyed by everyone. We feel it is critically important that VR applications become more accessible and inclusive for all people. Today we are proud to announce new Virtual Reality Checks (VRCs), a set of technical recommendations designed to help developers create more accessible VR software. These Accessibility VRCs focus on audio, visuals, interactions, locomotion/movement, and other aspects of accessible design – ways to make your app more compelling to more people. The new Accessibility VRCs launch today on Quest and Rift platforms.

VRCs are technical requirements that all apps on the Oculus Platform must meet. These new Accessibility VRCs are recommendations rather than requirements. Our goal is to encourage developers to think seriously about how to make their software more accessible. Consider for example, our very own Oculus Studios title Dead and Buried II: Reloaded, which uses multi-sensory combat cues (such as visual indicators, spatialized audio, and haptic cues), provides comfort and locomotion settings, and has in-game subtitles. Though these VRCs are only recommendations, we strongly suggest supporting as many of them as possible in your titles.

In addition to launching the VRCs, we also want to share a few helpful resources:

  • We've published developer documentation, with guidelines for how to address these VRCs and examples of strong VR accessibility features and designs.

  • Oculus joined with other XR association members and XR accessibility advocates to develop and publish a comprehensive resource – “Accessibility and Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences”–specifically for XR developers. It details best practices and potential solutions across the five major disability categories.

  • We’ve created a "Designing Accessible VR Experiences" video, which is a great starting point and illustrates the importances of considering different participant types as you develop immersive VR experiences. It features several accessible design scenarios and includes best practices to avoid jarring or dissonant experiences during gameplay.

Oculus is committed to publishing diverse and inclusive applications that make virtual reality accessible to everyone, and we will continue to share additional resources to help developers implement accessible designs. We look forward to supporting our developers as they build VR worlds that embrace all abilities, invite feedback on these VRCs, and ask everyone to bring their thoughts on accessible VR design to the Oculus Developer Forums under the category Accessibility Development.