Oxford research highlights the need for inclusivity in the Metaverse for disabled users
Researchers from the University of Oxford and University College London have unveiled a pioneering study, led by the Oxford e-Research Centre, which analyses emerging and ever-evolving Metaverse technologies and their implications for physically disabled artists and sets out a framework for the meaningful participation of disabled creatives.
The metaverse is a vision of what many in the computer industry believe is the next iteration of the internet: a single, shared and immersive 3D virtual space where humans experience life in ways they could not in the physical world.
The research was led by Dr. Petar Radanliev and Professor David De Roure of the Oxford e-Research Centre, alongside Dr. Peter Novitzky from University College London, and Dr. Ivo Sluganovic from the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science.
Together, they’ve charted a ground-breaking framework that accentuates inclusivity in the Metaverse, harnessing emerging technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality, coupled with the Internet of Things, to incorporate the requirements of disabled creatives.
Dr Radanliev explains: “In the Metaverse’s vast expanse, true inclusivity isn’t merely granting access; it’s about recognising and valuing the unique experiences of those with disabilities, ensuring that this digital frontier is as diverse and accommodating as the world we live in.”
The study finds that despite the monumental technological strides achieved, the Metaverse’s inclusivity remains an area in need of attention. Research spanning 2016-2023 brought to light crucial disparities in current inclusivity measures within the decentralised Metaverse, such as a lack of financial incentives for interoperability which hinders the widespread adoption of accessibility solutions across various Metaverse platforms.
In order to ensure the Metaverse reflects and caters to the diverse population that are its potential users, the report emphasises the importance of focusing on the unique needs and experiences of disabled users and artists.
Some of the key recommendations highlighted by the study are user-led designs, collaborative partnerships, clear funding commitments, community engagement and varied funding avenues.
A user-first approach in Metaverse development should be a priority, the report states, as recognising the diverse needs of disabled users and drawing from interaction design principles will ensure a tailored and inclusive experience.
Collaborating with local arts groups and organisations like Dyspla to ensure art in the Metaverse truly reflects diverse artistic voices and providing platforms for artists to showcase and share their work is a recommendation.
The report states the importance of urging major stakeholders to specify their financial commitments to accessibility and to increase involvement of disabled artists in the Metaverse’s development, while also reviewing processes to ensure projects genuinely cater to user needs.
Varied funding avenues, including from governmental bodies and NGOs, will promote sustained, inclusive growth and reduces reliance on single stakeholders, the report states.
The ramifications of the study, entitled ‘Accessibility and Inclusiveness of New Information and Communication Technologies for Disabled Users and Content Creators in the Metaverse‘, are far-reaching.
By supporting the active engagement of physically disabled individuals in designing Metaverse platforms and underlining the urgency of a digitally inclusive landscape, the research seeks to offer invaluable insights for policymakers, technologists, and wider society.https://thiis.co.uk/oxford-research-highlights-the-need-for-inclusivity-in-the-metaverse-for-disabled-users/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Webp.net-resizeimage.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Webp.net-resizeimage-150x150.jpgNewsroomReports & ResearchSector News3d,disabled,Metaverse,technologies,University College London,University of OxfordResearchers from the University of Oxford and University College London have unveiled a pioneering study, led by the Oxford e-Research Centre, which analyses emerging and ever-evolving Metaverse technologies and their implications for physically disabled artists and sets out a framework for the meaningful participation of disabled creatives. The metaverse is...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukEditorTHIIS Magazine