#1228: XR Accessibility and Public Policy with XR Association’s Liz Hyman

Liz Hyman President and the CEO of the XR Association (XRA), which is a non-profit, industry trade association representing 47 XR companies including major players like Meta, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unity, and HTC. XRA has been collaborating with XR Access from the beginning, and they collaborated on Chapter 3 of their an XR Developer’s Guide Series focusing on Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences.

At the XR Access Symposium, Hyman moderated a breakout session focused on public policy. I had a chance to unpack the three major points from the group discussion that included educating policy makers about accessibility, brainstorming bluesky legislation to lift up accessibility tech, and identify gaps in public policy so that they can be addressed.

A common theme that I heard at the XR Access Symposium again and again is that accessibility hardly ever is prioritized with emerging technology platforms. XR Access co-founder Shiri Azenkot told me “But it was always a retroactive thing. So that’s a pattern that we’ve seen with technology a lot, many times — every time there’s a new technology.”

There are laws on the books like the American Disabilities Act and Section 508, but this doesn’t always apply to XR technologies. “Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to ensure that their information and communication technology (ICT) is accessible to people with disabilities.” Section 508 would only apply to XR experiences produced by the federal government.

And Hyman told me, “I will say the thing is that I notice is [that XR] is an emerging technology. And I think even within a program like 508, there’s an acknowledgment of the emerging nature of technology that should not be something that is a permanent barrier. We need to make steady progress.” She is likely referencing some recent rulings about Section 508 to bring it more up to date since it was originally passed in 1998 and 2000.

I was able to find a couple of relevant passages that support Hyman’s interpretation on the Section 508 website which says, “The U.S. Access Board is responsible for developing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility standards to incorporate into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices. On January 18, 2017, the Access Board issued a final rule that updated accessibility requirements covered by Section 508, and refreshed guidelines for telecommunications equipment subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act. The final rule went into effect on January 18, 2018.”

I found a copy of the final rule from the Access Board ICT in the Federal Register from January 18th, 2017 and there is a mention of virtual reality that says, “The Board expects that an agency that decides to use a conforming alternate version of a Web page as opposed to making the main page accessible will typically do so when, as the W3C® explains, certain limited circumstances warrant or mandate their use. For example, W3C® has noted that a conforming alternate version may be necessary: (1) When a new emerging technology is used on a Web page, but the new technology cannot be designed in a way that allows assistive technologies to access all the information needed to present the content to the user (e.g., virtual reality or computer-simulated reality); (2) when it is not possible to modify some content on a Web page because the Web site owner is legally prohibited from modifying the Web content; or (3) to provide the best experience for users with certain types of disabilities by tailoring a Web page specifically to accommodate those disabilities.”

The bottom line is that the 2D web is a mature platform relative to paradigm shift into VR, 3D, and spatial computing, which means that the US government can more heavily lean upon established guidelines from organizations like the W3C that has produced a number of different Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The ICT’s 2017 ruling reads “The Revised 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines incorporate by reference the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, a globally-recognized and technologically-neutral set of accessibility guidelines for Web content. For Section 508-covered ICT, all covered Web and non-Web content and software—including, for example, Web sites, intranets, word processing documents, portable document format documents, and project management software—is required, with a few specific exceptions, to conform to WCAG 2.0’s Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements.”

So far, all of this is referencing 2D paradigms and web-based content, but has little to nothing to say about native 3D and virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality content (collectively referred to as XR). These are some of the gaps that Hyman and her fellow brainstormers were starting to flesh out during the XR Access break-out session.

The problem with the government trying to enforce any type of guidelines for XR Accessibility right now is that there are not any mature guidelines to base that enforcement on. XR Accessibility is still within the research phase of developing heuristics — see my conversation with Reginé Gilbert and my discussion with her student Spandita Sarmah about their poster titled “Formulating Inclusive and Accessible Heuristics.” Also see the Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences Chapter by XRA and XR Access, as well as my conversation with XR Access’ Dylan Fox in episode #1090 talking about the IEEE white paper he co-authored on XR Accessibility. Also check out the set of resources of XR Accessibility heuristics and guidelines on the GitHub page maintained by XRA and XR Access.

Even though there is a lot of preliminary work, it’s not mature enough to have strict standards and guidelines because the translation from 2D accessibility to 3D accessibility is still being explored. Khronos Group President Neil Trevett has a lot of experience with standards and the process of standardization and Trevett told to me, “The number one golden rule of standardization is don’t do R&D by standardization committee… Until we have multiple folks doing the awesome necessary work of Darwinian experimentation, until we have multiple examples of a needed technology and everyone is agreeing that it’s needed and how we would do it, but we’re just doing it in annoyingly different ways. That’s the point at which standardization can help.”

Owlchemy Labs is at the forefront of this type of Darwinian experimentation, and bringing more accessibility features to XR with captions, mobility options, dynamic height adjustments, and the new low-vision accessibility features for Cosmonious High that I’ll be unpacking more in episode #1232.

Azenkot also had an amazing point of moving from 2D to 3D where she said, “You need to think more about how we make the physical world accessible and think about how that can be incorporated into these experiences rather than trying to take a two-dimensional accessibility framework and trying to kind of fit it, squash it into this new paradigm.” The end game of XR accessibility is making physical reality more accessible, and this is both a long-range project that involves the evolution of many technologies including XR, AI, and lots of innovations in human-computer interaction, eye tracking, and potentially even neural interfaces. It’s a long journey, and making VR accessible means making similar design patterns that may make physical reality more accessible via AR, MR, or XR.

But sometimes companies don’t always decide on their own to move from utilitarian thinking in their exclusionary designs that are optimized for non-disabled people, and into a more deontological and human rights approach that prioritizes inclusive design and universal design principles. Sometimes lawsuits are required to force action beyond self-policing design guidelines.

In my interview with Fox about the IEEE accessibility white paper he co-authored. Fox told me, “I think we’re going to see probably some lawsuits are going to pave the way as they usually do, but the government can do things besides just wait for the courts to work it out and then demand everybody retroactively upgrade their systems, which is the least efficient way you could possibly go about getting accessibility implemented. So policymakers can look to first, again, bring in people with lived experience with disabilities into conversations. They can look to make sure that they’re getting input from those folks and from the many people in academia that study this exact subject when they are making decisions. They can think about clarifying proactively what it means to have accessible XR.”

Fox was reacting to the Panarra v. HTC Corporation lawsuit that Dylan Panarra brought against HTC’s Viveport Infinity on November 18, 2020 because their subscription service didn’t have captioning for deaf and hard of hearing folks in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. William Goren does a great breakdown of the lawsuit’s implications for ADA by looking at the April 15, 2022 decision and order that was able to successfully allege that Viveport Infinity is a “Place of Public Accommodation” according to the ADA. Last year Goren said that “Look for the Supreme Court to eventually get involved in trying to figure out just how a place of public accommodation is defined. The two most common approaches in the courts are the gateway theory, which can mean different things in different courts, and the, “of the type” listed in 42 U.S.C. §12181(7), which this court adopts.”

However, the Supreme Court will not be getting a chance to define whether or not a virtual reality is a “place of public accommodation” with the Panarra v. HTC Corporation lawsuit because it was settled on April 4, 2023 per this Lainey Feingold’s blog update. The original press release announcing the settlement on Eisenberg & Baum’s website is offline, but details of the settlement are still available via the Internet Archive. It reads,

HTC Agrees to Require Captioning For Its Virtual Reality Platform Viveport Infinity Making it More Accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users
April 4th, 2023
Eisenberg & Baum is pleased to announce that our client Dylan Panarra and HTC have reached an agreement regarding captioning on HTC’s VR subscription platform, Viveport Infinity. HTC will provide resources to support developers to caption their content. In addition to HTC captioning its own future titles, HTC will revise its developer guidelines to add captioning requirements in the future for developers. HTC and Dylan Panarra are committed to improving the user experience for deaf and hard of hearing users on the Viveport Infinity platform

Source: Eisenberg & Baum’s website via the Internet Archive

I didn’t learn about this settlement until after my interview with Hyman, but it reiterates Fox’s point that sometimes it takes lawsuits to pressure companies to take action on implementing accessibility sooner than was on their original timeline.

But another vector for innovation for XR accessibility may be through government contracting, where Section 508 is mandated. I’ll be diving into more detail of the nuances of government contracting for XR accessibility in episode #1231 with Joel Ward. Hyman tells me in this interview, “I think that government often can be, and this is going to sound odd given the world that we live in, but it can be a trendsetter in certain ways because of its contracting power. And so that’s why Section 508 is important, and that messages are sent, that it’s a real requirement. But there’s also an understanding of the journey and the progression to make this technology accessible for all.”

Hyman also talks about H.R.9674 – Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act of 2022 as legislation that XRA is collaborating on with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), which aims to “carry out a competitive grant program to support community colleges and career and technical education centers in developing immersive technology education and training programs for workforce development, and for other purposes.” Again, this type of Bluesky legislation could be another possible vector for XR accessibility innovation if it manages to get passed within the house and Senate, but could result in XR Accessibility innovations if it is specified in the contracts (again see my conversation with Ward in #1231 for more work to be done here).

Hopefully this write-up helps to elaborate on some of the gaps in public policy, but also how this is still an area where researchers and pioneering independent accessibility developers still need to do a lot more innovation across a variety of context implementing XR accessibility before it’s mature enough to be standardized and enforced by governments. But also how the government funding and contracts will also be a key part. But before any potential legislation enabling this is passed, then lawmakers need to be educated and informed on the spectrum of issues. This was one of the other major outcomes of the XR Access breakout session on public policy, but also one of the major pillars for the XR Association in their mission to cultivate political support and government funding of XR development.

This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. It's a podcast that looks at the future of spatial computing. You can support the podcast at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. So this is the episode 7 out of 15 of my series on XR accessibility, and today's episode is with Liz Hyman, who's the president and CEO of the XR Association. So the XR Association is a non-profit industry trade association for XR and they started with six or seven different XR companies and now they're up to 47 different companies that are in the XR industry. And so they are trying to educate different policy makers and lobby on specific policy decisions. And Liz was leading a breakout session on public policy. And so this was her reporting on some of the different takeaways as well as just looking at the issue of public policy for XR. I did want to refer to a conversation that I had with Dylan Fox back in episode 1090. As a part of the IEEE Global Initiative on the Ethics of Extended Reality, there's a whole white paper that Dylan was involved in writing and had a whole section in there that was by Elise Dick at the time she was working for ITIF. And she was looking at the public policy landscape. And so the whole survey of that is down in that white paper. But Section 508 in the American Disabilities Act was something that came up again and again. Dylan said to me in that interview, he said he thinks that we're going to see some lawsuits that are going to pave the way as they usually do, but the government can do things besides just wait for the courts to work it out and then demand everybody retroactively upgrade their systems, which is the least efficient way you could possibly go about getting accessibility implemented. So, from the government's perspective, once they start to contract different virtual augmented reality experiences, they can set certain guidelines for accessibility that are mandatory that you have to meet. That's already written into some of these different laws, but the enforcement of that I think is a little bit nebulous in the sense of those XR accessibility guidelines haven't even been strictly defined as to what they are at this point. It's difficult to have a checklist to be able to follow. And it's also difficult to live into both the spirit and the letter of that law when most of these XR experiences are not accessible for a number of different folks, especially for low vision or blind folks. So I do mention in this conversation, a lawsuit that came about against HCC and Viveport for not having captions. And I did want to just mention the top that that lawsuit actually was settled on April 4th, 2023, Eisenberg and Humm is pleased to announce that our client Dylan Panera and HTC have reached an agreement regarding captioning on HTC's VR subscription platform, Viveport Infinity. HTC will provide resources for developers to caption their content. In addition to HTC captioning its own future titles, HTC will revise its developer guidelines to add captioning requirements in the future for developers. HTC and Dylan Panera are committed to improving the user experience for deaf and hard of hearing users on the Viveport Infinity platform. So I just wanted to mention that because I bring it up with Liz and I didn't realize that that had actually been settled and they're gonna be taking action there. But the point there is that sometimes what Dylan is saying is that unfortunately that's usually how some of this has to go is that there's different lawsuits that come about in order to force the hand for some of these different companies to live into the spirit of some of these laws that are on the book like the American Disabilities Act. So there's a whole group discussion that Liz is going to be summarizing some of their different takeaways and some of the next steps here for public policy and accessibility. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Liz happened on Thursday, June 15th, 2023. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:03:49.763] Liz Hyman: I'm Liz Hyman, I'm the president and CEO of the XR Association and we are a non-profit industry trade association. We represent a broad spectrum of companies that are in the XR space and really excited to be here at XR Access. Several years ago when I first started, we started focusing on XR and accessibility and I had the privilege of working with the XR Access community from their early days and I am thrilled to get to meet a lot of people in person that I didn't get to meet back in the day because of COVID.

[00:04:23.906] Kent Bye: Great. And yeah, maybe you could give a bit more context as to your background and journey into XR, but also for XR Association.

[00:04:30.648] Liz Hyman: Absolutely. So my journey, I started out in government way too long ago and then sort of transitioned over in the sort of early 2000s. I started with the Consumer Technology Association doing public policy and just sort of continued to grow in the technology and industry association space and joined XRA as its founding CEO about four years ago. And the companies themselves had sort of organized around the idea that this is a growing platform and that there are things that the industry can do to enhance and promote the technology and do so responsibly, and that it's going to take all of us putting our heads together to get there. And in the four years that I've been involved, we grew from, I think it was six or seven to start, we're up to 47 member companies now, which is really exciting.

[00:05:24.105] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I know that accessibility is a big challenge when it comes to XR generally, but also just talking to Dylan in previous conversations, he was saying that a lot of times it takes legislation to force people to be able to do it. And I know that there has been at least one lawsuit for Viveport that was saying if you're going to have this platform that's giving these immersive virtual reality experiences to the public, then it needs to follow the American Disabilities Act. I'd love to hear any initial reflections on the policy landscape and how it interfaces with things like accessibility and where we're at when it comes to either waiting for additional legislation or laws to be able to force the hand of a lot of these companies, or if it's going to be a lot of catch up with what a lot of folks here at XR Access is saying has typically happened with existing platforms. So yeah, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on some of that legislative landscape and policy landscape, but also the perspective of what ideally might happen.

[00:06:18.713] Liz Hyman: Yeah, it's interesting. I just led a breakout session at XR Access talking about public policy, and we focused on three different things. One is, what do we need to do to educate policymakers about the technology and about its role in and with accessibility? So that was the first thing. Then we talked a little bit about if you could blue sky and come up with anything legislatively or policy-wise that would help lift accessible technology and accessible XR, what would that look like? And then thirdly, how do we address and identify some of the gaps and address them? And, you know, I think there continues to be a fair amount of progress, you know, both on the hardware and software side. within the industry to move that conversation forward. You mentioned HTC, you know, they recently came out with the Vive Elite, which has a number of good advancements. It's not all the way there, but good advancements for accessibility, whether it's the IPD adjustment or the ocular adjustments, things of that nature. I can't wait to try the Vision Pro and see what some of the accessible features are there. We saw a great presentation from Alchemy in terms of how software can build in good accessible approaches. So, there is movement and I think what's important and what I've heard here is we're farther ahead than we were when the computer came or the mobile phone came. We still have a long way to go. We get that. So, if you look at the education piece, the conversation that we had is maybe we need to vividly explain to policy makers what the fails were around computers and mobile technology and where we are with immersive tech and where we need to go so that they can see that continuum. So that's one area of education. Another area of education is to identify sort of the curb-cut analysis, you know, that there are accessible features or features that are good for everybody, and how do we identify and accentuate those? And then also, what's the economic argument or value for making sure that XR is accessible? So that was the education bucket. Then if you think about the blue sky, like what can we come up with? Two things that came up. One is making sure that policy makers understand that this is a productivity tool. And if we do this right, we should be funding to make sure that persons with disabilities and even temporary disabilities, they need this type of technology to be productive and to move forward in the workforce. There were a couple other ideas that popped up. And then finally, how do we look at things like ADA and 508 and other pieces that are out there and do sort of a gap analysis or figure out what we need to do to make sure folks know what applies to what.

[00:09:07.533] Kent Bye: So yeah, I guess as you start to do this type of gap analysis and look in the policy landscape, as XR Association, you are responding and representing a lot of these existing companies that are in the industry. And so to what degree are you reacting to what they want and what they're doing? And to what degree, as an organization, are you proactively pushing some of these different issues, like some of these things you're talking about, in terms of accessibility?

[00:09:30.582] Liz Hyman: Yeah, I have to say, I mean, when I started back in 2019, one of the first things that the company said to me is we need to look at and work on developing best practices around accessibility. So, I think there is a great recognition that this conversation can't wait. It needs to be moving forward. And so, Not only did I personally think this was a great thing to be involved in, the XR Access Initiative and the work that's taking place and the things that we've done as an organization, but I've been completely and utterly supported by our member companies. They see this as a very important thing to do.

[00:10:08.349] Kent Bye: And now that Apple has officially entered into the, I guess, spatial computing realm, as they would call it, have you had any conversations or any open invitations to have them join the XR Association?

[00:10:19.329] Liz Hyman: I would love for them to join. So if you have a better in than I do, please let me know.

[00:10:26.096] Kent Bye: Great. So I guess you're going to be presenting some of these different conclusions to the rest of the community at the end of this session. But what happens after this as you go back to the XRA? And what do you do with this information that you're gathering here at this accessibility conference?

[00:10:40.053] Liz Hyman: Well, we have an accessibility working group as part of our organization. And so even though we already put out our best practice guide on accessibility, and we've worked on things with XR Access, for example, to create the GitHub site, we have ongoing conversations, you know, looking at an accessibility object model. Are there other things that we can and should do? And so conferences like this help to educate us in terms of the conversation that we have with our membership and how we think about things going forward.

[00:11:11.838] Kent Bye: And I know that we've had previous discussions where there's previous initiatives to make, like, say, November the month of XR. And I think we're in a bit of a legislative landscape where, let's say, it's a bit polarized. And so I don't know if there's any specific legislation or actions that the XRA is going to be taking to Congress where you think there's a viable pathway to get consensus across the two parties to be able to move things forward in terms of the broader XR industry.

[00:11:38.562] Liz Hyman: Yeah, there is a piece of legislation that we have been working on. It's called the Immersive Technology for the American Workforce Act. It was introduced by Lisa Blunt Rochester in Delaware and Tim Wahlberg out of Michigan. So bipartisan support. And it would try to direct grant dollars to community organizations, workforce boards, things of that nature. to use XR for workforce training and to make sure that rural and underserved communities have access to this technology for workforce training. So I would encourage everybody to look the bill up. I'm sorry I don't have the bill number off the top of my head. and get involved with your member of Congress, tell them to start supporting it. I think at the end of the day, workforce development, what is workforce development? It's making sure that people are equipped to take on jobs that we have today and in the future, and to do so in a way that supports their livelihood and their sense of well-being. And I think XR can play a huge part in that. And so I'm really excited about that legislation. I think it does actually cut through some of the noise and the division and we can unite around something like that.

[00:12:57.398] Kent Bye: Yeah, and in terms of websites, there's certain obligations that if it's a government website, it has to meet certain ADA or Section 508 obligations. And so as we start to think about if there are XR experiences within the government context, then what type of legislation? You mentioned the Section 508 or the Americans with Disability Act. And so what are some of the existing things on the books that are trying to reflect on the baseline of obligations and I guess as a part of the gap analysis is that a process of seeing like what isn't already covered with what would be expected for what companies would be held accountable for in terms of making sure that some of these immersive experiences were as accessible as required by these legislation? And if it's up to the letter of the law, how does it need to expand to be even more inclusive? So yeah, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that based upon both the conversations today, but also a little bit more context of how to address these issues.

[00:13:53.339] Liz Hyman: Yeah, I mean, I do think that it's going to take the disability community and this particular gathering to identify where they think things are falling short and to let their policymakers know, but also industry as well. But I will say the thing is that I notice is this is an emerging technology. And I think even within a program like 508, there's an acknowledgment of the emerging nature of technology that should not be something that is a permanent barrier. We need to make steady progress. And I mentioned earlier, I think some of the technology really is moving in the proper direction. and we just need to keep nurturing and pushing it that way. No one likes to end up litigating these types of things. We need to set very high benchmarks for ourselves as an industry to make sure that we're creating good, accessible technology. And we need to make sure that people who are contracting ask for that. So there's a lot of different pieces of the puzzle that go into this.

[00:14:55.375] Kent Bye: Yeah, I guess one thing to point out is that when things happen under the auspices of the United States government, then there's additional obligations that say if it's outside of the government that don't have to be met. So it feels like because we're still in an emerging space that some of these things still have to be worked out. At least that's my perspective as of right now.

[00:15:13.738] Liz Hyman: Yeah, I mean, I think that government often can be, and this is going to sound odd given the world that we live in, but it can be a trendsetter in certain ways because of its contracting power. And so that's why Section 508 is important, and that messages are sent, that it's a real requirement. But there's also an understanding of the journey and the progression to make this technology accessible for all.

[00:15:38.012] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think the ultimate potential of XR with accessibility in mind might be and what it might be able to enable?

[00:15:46.702] Liz Hyman: You know, we were just talking about this. The assistive technology aspects of this are incredible. You know, some of us were talking about the company cognition and what that might have meant for someone like a Stephen Hawking, you know, just five or 10 years ago, if he had the ability to use that type of technology to speak and to articulate where it helps with people who have vision problems, how it might assist their lives. You know, I think the sky's the limit. I'm not purely the expert on all of that, but I think, you know, the assistive aspects of it are tremendous and obviously, you know, making sure that experiences that are available to you and me at any time are also available to people who have any ability.

[00:16:33.430] Kent Bye: Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the broader Emersive community?

[00:16:37.691] Liz Hyman: Just that, you know, it's an exciting time. I think we go through a boom and bust and hype and trough. And I think, you know, it's interesting right now, I think we're in a period of time where we're really focused on our work because some of the hype has quieted down a little bit. It'll build back up and, you know, obviously announcements like the Apple Vision Pro and where we are with all kinds of different advancements will impact what we're doing in XR, but what I love is just seeing everybody who is trying to work through all of these incredible conversations.

[00:17:11.863] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I hope that we're able to have some proactive parts from the industry. But even if it doesn't happen, then if there's updates to legislation to force the hand of all these companies, the legislation that has been passed that has created these benchmarks for what is required. And I think that may end up being possible. But as we move forward, I guess that's something that will be determined by both the communities that are here, as well as liaisoning with the different companies. Anyway, thanks for adding your perspective here and giving us a little bit of the update of some of the discussions and what we might expect as we move forward. So thank you.

[00:17:44.382] Liz Hyman: Terrific. Thanks so much.

[00:17:45.947] Kent Bye: So that was Liz Hyman. She's the president and CEO of the XR Association, which is a nonprofit industry trade association representing 47 different XR companies. So I found a number of takeaways about this interview is that first of all, well, they had three main areas that they were discussing in this breakout group. One is that they're going to need to educate policymakers about accessibility as well as about virtual reality in general. That's a lot about what the XRA has been doing is just trying to do different types of outreach with public policymakers, lawmakers, and to show them what's possible with XR so that when they're making policy decisions about it, they can be a little bit more informed from what is this thing that is vaguely familiar or is this hype, is this real? So just trying to show some of the different companies and the real use cases, but just to educate the policymakers around the accessibility implications of this, especially when it comes to when they're starting to contract out some of these different Projects and I have a whole conversation with Joel Ward from Booz Allen Hamilton who talks about some of the different nuances of the Contracting aspects that still has to be sorted out as well So the second big point that they were looking at is doing some blue sky legislation to think about what would it look like to be? able to lift up and to really exalt the accessibility technology and then the third one is to identify some of the gaps within laws like the section 508 and the Americans with Disabilities Act the ADA and So there's actually a lot of folks that were a part of that conversation as they were starting to brainstorm all these different things. Yeah. And like I said, at the top of the interview that Dylan Fox in my interview with him previously, he's lamenting that lawsuits coming about is usually a way to kind of force the hand of these different companies, mostly because accessibility often gets deprioritized and isn't necessarily put at the forefront of the design that they're trying to Designed for people who are generally non-disabled is the primary focus for a lot of these companies So sometimes it takes lawsuits and legislation to force the hand of some of the companies to actually take action So that's obviously not the preferred mode and I think some of the discussions here were both to educate the policymakers for what's happening but also for the companies themselves to be proactive in terms of trying to innovate and and figure out some of these different best practices so that as we move forward we can just generally be more aware of what those best practice guidelines are going to be. There are some resources that are out there that I've referred to in previous episodes but yeah that's something that's still actively being developed as there's a lot of creativity and need for innovation when it comes to trying to figure out how to make XR the most accessible for both blind and low vision, for deaf and hard of hearing, and a whole range of other different types of cognitive impairments and mobility limitations. And so, yeah, just as Christine Hinfel says, how folks may move differently, sense differently, feel differently, think differently, communicate differently, and some of these other access needs that they may need as well. So, that's all that I have for today, and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. This is a necessary part of the podcast, and so I do rely upon donations from people like yourself in order to continue to bring you this coverage. You can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voicesofvr. Thanks for listening.

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