ello, my name is Adriane Kuzminski. I am a sound designer with a passion for game accessibility. Come, sit by the fire, and let me share with you why I believe accessibility is important:
Games have always had a special place in my life. While growing up, my sisters and cousins and I loved to play together. We’d compete against the “Cheetah” in Track & Field (and cheat by using our hands), we’d obsess over the music in Space Station: Silicon Valley, and we’d share clues about how to get through Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Though we loved to be outside in the creek or picking raspberries along the abandoned railroad tracks, there was always something special about video games.
Skipping ahead to 2013 at my third PAX East, I remember passing by the AbleGamers charity booth where Mark Barlet, Steve Spohn, Craig Kaufmann, and volunteers sold t-shirts for donations. They told me about game accessibility, and I felt sort of embarrassed that I’d never thought of disabled gamers before. I read more and more about game accessibility until next PAX East, where I was compelled to volunteer in any way I could.
Volunteering with AbleGamers has shown me a world filled with hope and innovation. We see people who donate time and money to game accessibility because it affects them or a family member, or simply because they know it’s right. We see organizations with the insight and technology to create devices that allow people to communicate more easily and express themselves. But most importantly we see people who, with assistive technology and accessibility, are able to play games for the first time. The joy that radiates off a parent and child playing Forza 5 or a couple playing Rocket League reminds me of all the fun my sisters and I had together and shows me why everyone deserves the chance to play games.
Adriane is a freelance sound designer with a passion for accessibility. This has lead her to work as a sound and dialogue editor for blind-accessible games such as the Frequency Missing point-and-click adventure, A Hero’s Call fantasy RPG, and the Earplay hands-free, eyes-free interactive audio drama app, and serve as an accessibility consultant for others.
To help spread the word on accessibility, she has also spoken to AAA developers at the 2017 Game Accessibility Conference in San Francisco about “Breaking the Sound Barrier: How Game Audio Can Improve Accessibility” and she is developing an educational module for blind accessibility in game design education as part of the Game Accessibility Special Interest Group. She is also an interviewer and editor for A Sound Effect/Soundlister and Designing Sound, a volunteer with AbleGamers and The Audio Mentoring Project, and a Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves.