About & Contact
IllegallySighted started as a YouTube channel back in 2012. I had been thinking of doing some type of podcast or something similar for a while. Around the same time, a friend and I got hooked on Minecraft. We started exploring the game worlds and creating things. It was getting harder to share large map files, just to show each other what we had built, so we started playing on our own Creative server. We wanted to show off our creations to more people too, and I wanted to experiment with YouTube. So IllegallySighted was created.
The name IllegallySighted is a spin on a term I always thought sounded a little strange, legally blind. I understood what it meant, but still thought it sounded weird. If I was legally blind, I figured I was also illegally sighted, so started using that term. It stuck, and I thought it sounded catchy for a name for a YouTube channel.
Early on, the YouTube channel started with a few Minecraft videos, some assistive technology demos, and a couple of Let's Play's. There really wasn't a clear focus for the channel early on. One thing I knew right away though, was that I wanted the channel to offer something different from the thousands of gaming YouTube channels already available.
This is where I really started to focus on talking about mainstream and accessible games from a blind/low vision user's perspective. Not many channels talked about mainstream games as a low vision player. The Low Vision and Accessible Game Spotlight playlists were born. I also figured out how to record direct IOS footage, so started covering accessible and mainstream IOS apps and games.
Then I tried the Oculus Rift prototype... It was amazing, and I knew I wanted to get into virtual reality right away. I also saw an opportunity to test VR apps and games for accessibility, and advocate for VR accessibility through IllegallySighted. My hope was that, since VR standards really haven't been developed yet, I could advocate for accessibility standards to be included in early VR standards, and give specific recommendations for accessibility features for blind and low vision users. I even presented at 2017's #ID24 conference. See the Projects page for more information and the archive of that session.
IllegallySighted also has its own Steam Group and Steam Curator list that highlights Steam games that offer specific features that are helpful to blind or low vision players. The Steam Curator List also highlights games that feature blind characters.
IllegallySighted is also quite active on Twitter, @BGFH79. Follow me there for lots of conversations and posts on technology, gaming, game accessibility, VR and VR accessibility, and a little bit of everything else.
I would also like to reach out to game developers who are interested in making their games and/or VR applications more accessible to blind and low vision users. I would be glad to answer any questions, test apps or games, or help however I can.
Thanks for your support, and stay tuned to see where IllegallySighted goes next.