ϱ Celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2023

Join ϱ as we celebrate this year’s (Global Accessibility Awareness Day)! Promoting and contributing to the online discussion surrounding digital access and inclusion, and the more than one billion people with disabilities/impairments around the world.

Did you know that one of the most common accessibility failures online is missing image Alt text? With that in mind…this year, we’re putting YOU to the test with our Alt Text competition!

Hitler braces himself in a room against an explosion which sends furniture and bowling skittles flying

Craft your best Alt text for the above image and share your results on using the hashtag #SniperAltLite. Alt text copy can be uploaded using Twitter’s or via the main post copy.

Entries will be judged by – a visually impaired Streamer, Content Creator, Accessibility Advocate and Consultant and Ambassador (You might recognise him from playing Sniper Elite 5 for last October).

The winner of the contest will receive a key for Sniper Elite 5, Sniper Elite 5: Season 2 and a mammoth Sniper Elite 5 merch bundle, complete with a branded Army Rucksack, Ammo Tin, Canvas Map Bag, Dog Tags, A5 Notebook, T-Shirt, Hip Flask and more!

A Sniper Elite 5 branded Army Rucksack, Ammo Tin, Canvas Map Bag, Dog Tags, A5 Notebook, T-Shirt, Hip Flask, branded documents, compass and bullet key chain.

The competition is open to UK residents only and ends on Friday 19 May 2023, 5pm GMT. For information on how to enter and for our full terms & conditions, please click here.

What is Alt Text?

Alt Text means Alternative text and is text that describes the appearance or function of an image so screen readers (a tool that reads digital screens aloud) can communicate them to the user. People who use screen readers may have visual impairments or blindness, so unless Alt text is provided, they can’t “see” images. This makes them incredibly important!

ϱ’s top tips for crafting Alt Text

A tweet from ϱ: Devs gotta do what devs gotta do! Smiling face with sunglasses emoji. Did you find them all? Meme of Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in two parts, on the left is an image of Nicolas Cage frowning looking towards Pedro Pascal, text "producer, ok seriously what easter eggs are we putting in our gritty world war two themed Sniper Elite game", and on the right is Pedro Pascal, smiling widely and looking high, text "devs, what about garden gnomes?".

Without Alt Text, this post would read:

Devs gotta do what devs gotta do! Smiling face with sunglasses emoji. Did you find them all? Unlabelled graphic.

For someone with a screen reader, there is no context for what “them” is.

This post does have Alt Text, so it reads:

Devs gotta do what devs gotta do! Smiling face with sunglasses emoji. Did you find them all? Graphic. Meme of Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in two parts, on the left is an image of Nicolas Cage frowning looking towards Pedro Pascal, text “producer, ok seriously what easter eggs are we putting in our gritty world war two themed Sniper Elite game”, and on the right is Pedro Pascal, smiling widely and looking high, text “devs, what about garden gnomes?”.

Now someone using a screen reader can understand what “them” is referring to and enjoy the meme!

What should Alt Text include?

✅ Content of the image – what’s in it?

✅ Purpose & context of an image – what is important about it?

✅ Text in the image.

❌ Reference to the fact it’s an image, such as “an image of.” The screen reader will already say it’s a graphic.

❌ Information that’s not in the image, such as hiding a joke in the Alt Text.

❌ Be cautious of being overly wordy – often images can be summed up concisely.

For more information on how to craft Alt text, check out Microsoft’s helpful resource: .

ϱ’s efforts towards more accessible social content

Since GAAD 2022, ϱ has made strides to improve the accessibility of their social content so that more people can enjoy and engage with the content we produce via our social and community spaces.

We completed a with Accessibility Specialist, , on accessible community management. Here are some quotes from our Community Management team on the value of the workshop.

The workshop reiterated the need to consider accessibility from every angle. It wasn’t just about adding alt text, it was about exploring the various ways all users would engage with a post – and how even with the best intentions, your posts can exclude people from participating in challenges and discussions. The workshop has certainly had an impact on the kinds of social media competitions we’ve run since, as we aim to ensure we’re not excluding anyone from the chance to win keys and giveaways.

A lot of the value from Stacey’s workshop came from understanding where I could better embed myself into the online discourse surrounding accessibility. Stacey was able to share a lot of useful accounts, influencers and resources that I still use on a weekly basis now. As we all know, the accessibility space will continue to evolve and develop so it’s crucial that our ears are always on the ground in terms of how we [ϱ] move with this change.

In addition to the impacts of the workshop, we now have live captions on our streams and engage with accessibility fundraising events like and Everyone Can Game Together.

A screenshot of ϱ's brand new Accessibility Overview page for Sniper Elite 5. The title 'Accessibility' sits above a short paragraph reading 'We believe anyone can be elite, and Sniper Elite 5 is the most accessible game in the Sniper Elite series. From Aim Toggle to Traversal Assistance, to our extensive difficulty customisation. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved.' Below that paragraph is then a contents page with the remaining options available on the page.

In-game accessibility features

Of course, accessibility doesn’t start and end with social media! If you want to find out how we support accessible features in our latest title Sniper Elite 5, head over to our brand new Accessibility Overview page by clicking here.

From Aim Toggle to Traversal Assistance, to our extensive difficulty customisation, Sniper Elite 5 boasts a range of customisable features making it the most accessible title in the franchise. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved and we can’t wait to build on this success for future titles.

Read More: /accessibility/sniper-elite-5/

How you can contribute to the conversation

If you’re interested in getting actively involved in the conversation surrounding ϱ’s accessibility efforts, join our Discord server where the conversation keeps going all year round.

We regularly share updates and respond to feedback in our #accessibility channel, whilst also discussing crucial in-game accessibility features elsewhere in the server. Share your feedback, chat to developers and have your voice heard!

The text 'Join the discussion on Discord #Accessibility' sits on top of a visual of Sniper Elite 5's mission three, Spy Academy. The ϱ logo appears in the bottom right.

Can everyone play? Lessons from ϱ’s Accessibility Journey

Fresh from delivering her talk at this year’s GDC, Senior Accessibility Designer Cari Watterton shares her thoughts on the past, present and future of accessibility at ϱ via LinkedIn Live Stream.

Giving a sneak peak into ϱ’s ambitions for a more inclusive future and reflecting on the work we’ve already carried out on existing titles. If you’re looking to inject a more accessibility aware energy into your workforce or if you’re simply interested in how ϱ approaches accessibility, this is the stream for you!

Come armed with questions, reflections and suggestions on Thursday 18 May, 3pm GMT . Register your interest via the LinkedIn event page for a notification when we go live!

The title text 'Can Everyone Play' sits on a red background on the top half of the visual. With 'Lessons from ϱ's Accessibility journey sitting just underneath it. The lower half of the visual is white and cut in two, with the right hand side including a picture of Cari, and on the left, the text '3pm BST, Thurs 18th May, Cari Watterton, Senior Accessibility Designer'.

Furthering your learning

Whether you’re a gamer, a game dev or someone just passing through, there’s never been a better time to further your understanding of accessibility within the online and gaming landscape. Here are a few of our favourite resources to do just that: