Ever since he was a kid, Chris has loved playing video games. He particularly enjoys streaming while he plays so he can share the experience with friends and fellow gamers. However, Chris discovered that many streaming platforms are not fully accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Chris, who is deaf himself, had a feeling other gamers felt the same way, and decided to find a way to communicate effectively with other gamers. Partnering with a friend, Chris started DeafGamersTV, a channel for gamers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
“I had a goal to do something that others haven’t really done,” he says, “which is to advocate about accessibility and try to help people understand why it’s important to try to make your content inclusive.”
Since starting DeafGamersTV, Chris and his friend have been able to reach more people who share their experience. “It allowed us to connect with people who thought they were alone with their disability,” says Chris. It has also given them the opportunity to advocate for their community.
“I’ve met and made so many friends with these amazing people that are also advocates and we are helping people learn more about our disabilities and how they can help us raise awareness. It’s really great to do something that could mean so much to others,” Chris says.
Going forward, Chris hopes that by starting DeafGamersTV, he has helped gaming networks understand the need for accessibility.
“The very important thing about inclusivity is awareness — being aware of who is being left out and what you can do to change that to make it more inclusive. I hope companies will try to work more closely with their communities to find solutions to become more accessible to everyone.”
Chris also hopes that he has empowered individuals in his community to take action as well. “I hope that people will come together with other advocates and continue fighting to make things fair and right for the people who need proper accessibility for their daily lives.”