Writing with Screenreader in Mind


#1

Heyo.
First, I’d like to apologize if anything that will be said (or written) is offensive. I feel like this is a quite sensitive issue if taken wrongly, but also important to brought up.

So, I’ve been exploring about this topic lately. I read somewhere that the most accessible games for visually impaired users are IF/CYOA (besides standard novels, ofc). And then, my curiosity challenged me: Can I write a game/story that is friendly to these folks?

So, with that in mind, what is the best approach when writing for screenreader in particular and visually impaired users in general?

And some specific questions I have:

  1. Is onomatopoeia (sound effect) a good idea when it comes to screenreader?
  2. What makes a good alt-text for an image?
  3. Is there any additional writing conventions for screenreader? (i.e. adding extra word “quote - end quote” whenever the reader reaches a quoted section)

#2

I don’t trust that I can particularly contribute to this discourse.

While I am still wholly unfamiliar with screenreaders, I do enjoy playing games designed for visually impaired individuals. I’ve also recently wondered about IF games in this regard, and decided to give it a go, so I downloaded a free screenreader (I tried NVDA from https://www.nvaccess.org ), and tried it with some of my favourite text-based games.

It’s certainly something to adjust to, but I recommend trying it and experimenting with it in ChoiceScript.

I would like to point out, however, that ChoiceScript does utilise sound files, and if you are lucky enough to have access to a sound studio, actors and whatnot, you could potentially create a completely auditory ChoiceScript game. But, I suppose, that defeats the unique point of the CS platform.

Nevermind that one. I remain with experimenting and stuff.


#3

As someone who is visually impaired here are my thoughts and no what you’re asking is not offensive in my understanding. It’s more on curiosity and its sort of cool that some people remembers us visually impaired people.

  1. Is onomatopoeia (sound effect) a good idea when it comes to screen-reader?
  1. What makes a good alt-text for an image?
    -I don’t understand the question. I’m confused… sorry. If this means an alternative way to replace a image into text then the simple solution is to describe the image.

  2. Is there any additional writing conventions for screenreader? (i.e. adding extra word “quote - end quote” whenever the reader reaches a quoted section)
    -That really depends on the text reader itself. Some reader’s do not read punctuation marks, some do, some pause, some you need to allow it or not. Really it depends on the reader.


Some posted topics that I participated on with a view point of someone who is completely visually impaired. Although, in all honestly, I have not encountered another visually impaired user from this forum. I think we the visually impaired are a silent bunch on this forum.


My answer to said post is this


My answer to said post is this


My answer to said post is this


and this


My answer to said post is this


and this


#4

Ah, thank you for replying!
May I spill the bean and say that the purpose of this thread is to attract the attention of people like you? :smiling_imp:


By the way, about onomatopoeia, it’s actually not music files or something. It’s more like… uhh… shouting, yelling, screaming, etc.

Something like, "AAH! Ow! Bam! Pewpewpew!"
Written sound effects.

Considering that screenreader can’t possibly imitate these sounds perfectly, I wonder if it will confuse you at least, or break your immersion at most.


Hmm. In this case, I guess I can simply warn the reader that the story may contains a lot of punctuation marks and recommend them to adjust their screenreader properly.


Heh. When I want to check how a line or phrase read by a screenreader, I put them on a free text-to-speech website (like ttsreader.com) and listen to them closely.

But anyway, thank you for the replies, guys!


#5

I’ve been had! Curse you szaal curse you!.. (i’m joking by this by the way)


My answer is still the same as before to my linked answer…

on that note I’ll add that not everybody likes this style. It would be wise to have an allow option or not since it will depend on the person if this annoys them or not. For me there are times that this style practically makes me want to stop everything while other times its okay. I guess it really depends on the person’s mood.

Welcome, hope my answers helped you in anyway possible.