In a recent collaborative research initiative, a group of leading experts from the University of Oxford and University College London delved into the accessibility and inclusivity of the evolving concept of the Metaverse for users with disabilities and content creators. This pioneering research has been made possible through the support of the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity.
The publication, titled “Accessibility and Inclusiveness of New Information and Communication Technologies for Disabled Users and Content Creators in the Metaverse,” is a culmination of thorough investigation and critical analysis on disability and new technologies, that started in 2016 and ended in 2023. Authored by Dr Petar Radanliev, Prof. David De Roure, Dr Peter Novitzky, and Dr Ivo Sluganovic, the study sheds light on the significant and timely issue of promoting inclusivity within digital realms, especially for physically disabled artists. Click here to view the publication.
The Core of the Study
The central theme of the research revolves around the potential of current information technologies to empower physically disabled users within the Metaverse. The study critically examines the existing concepts and designs, calling for a renewed emphasis on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the Metaverse’s ever-expanding universe.
Three fundamental concerns were derived from the review:
1. Users – The study underscores that the current guidance tends to cluster all disabled users into one monolithic group. However, individual needs vary, necessitating designs that prioritise people over the project.
2. Art – The role of art in the Metaverse and its potential therapeutic effects are highlighted. The article urges for more concrete narratives on the producers of the art and its intended use.
3. Funding – The study recognises the need for strategic collaboration between academic institutions, community stakeholder groups, and major industry players like Meta to drive accessibility and inclusivity in the Metaverse.
The article concludes by emphasising the need for active participation of disabled individuals in the design and development process. By doing so, the Metaverse can evolve into a more inclusive and empowering space for all its inhabitants.
By placing the spotlight on the critical issue of accessibility and inclusiveness in the Metaverse, this research not only contributes to academic discussions but provides actionable insights for decision-makers, developers, and society. It is a clarion call to reimagine digital realms with the core principle of inclusivity at its heart.
For more details on the research or for collaboration inquiries, interested parties can reach out to the corresponding author, Dr Petar Radanliev, at email@example.com.
Note: This news media blog article is a summary of the PETRAS collaborative research initiative by the University of Oxford and University College London.