The “Re-Invention” of Braille Card Games

By now, you’ve likely heard about the Kickstarter campaign that will support the creation of braille card games. Many people, though, seem confused about how the games will actually work and why there’s a need for this product.

People have long been adding braille to a stack of playing cards at home. When games are sold with their own special playing cards (such as Apples to Apples), that task becomes more difficult. Some games, after all, are color-coded or have multiple pieces that you have to assemble.

If you’re like me and not a gamer, enter a whole sub-group of board gamers who are called “sleevers;” they want to preserve the integrity of their cards by putting each one in clear plastic “sleeves.” These, naturally, are bulky but…it’s important to some people. What Emily and Richard have discovered (even though they are not “sleevers”!) is that if you put braille stickers on these “sleeves,” you’ve got an accessible game. Some people, of course, will just apply the stickers directly to the cards.

What you’re buying, then, is a set of pre-cut, pre-formatted accessible interfaces for your otherwise flat game.

“These aren’t new ideas,” Richard said. “I’m not thinking of anything super creative. I’m just doing something that nobody even bothered to think of before. I’m buying an embosser, reading cards, typing it up—and there’s some subtly creative things to make games work—but i’m not doing anything that any teacher of blind students isn’t doing everyday ”

Going forward, the goal is for a blind person to go buy a game like Apples to Apples at their local store, then goes online and buys these adapted “sleeves.” When the labels arrive, if you haven’t opened the box, the instructions will guide you through assembling and labeling the cards. Many game publishers are on board with this, for they see the future dollars of an untapped market.

Ready for the even better news? This husband-and-wife team has reached their goal!

“We’re hoping to pay for embosser, paper, the plastic sleeves and cover our fees with Amazon and Kickstarter,” said Emily Gibbs of 64 Ounce Games.

As of this writing, 390 backers have collectively pledged $10,131, well beyond the original, $7,500 goal. This isn’t the end, though. You can still contribute for another three weeks and reap the rewards of your contributions through free, accessible games.

Visit the Kickstarter page »

So there you go: accessibility for an industry that has said for years that it’s hard and expensive.

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Corbb O'Connor
Corbb, a blind entrepreneur, coordinates the outreach and marketing efforts for the Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Tech University as an independent consultant.

2 thoughts on “The “Re-Invention” of Braille Card Games

  1. Pingback: SeroTalk Podcast 194: The Backpedal Edition | SeroTalk

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