Can Blind and Visually Impaired People Use Second Life?


Yes, blind and visually impaired people can use Second Life. Blind and visually impaired users are able to use assistive technology or alternate browsers to access the content and social opportunities in Second Life. The EmployAble curriculum is also available in an alternative format on our website


It is our intent to create a Virtual Employment Center for all people with disabilities to use and experience. As with all emerging technologies, such as Second Life and other MUVE (Multi-user Virtual Environments), there are challenges for users of all abilities and aptitudes in experiencing and learning how to use the various components of the software. The 3-D graphic interface of MUVE provides a computer simulation which replicates a model of the real world but not one without limitations. Most MUVE programs use a text-based identification model for both identifying objects (such as people using avatars for representation) and also for communicating. Voice communication is also possible.


The EmployAble Project has designed its learning experience on the principles of Universal Design and the internationally recognized guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium.


With the support of Virtual Ability, an organization that is a pioneer in enabling users with disabilities to access Second Life, we will support all participants to access the EmployAble Second Life site. This includes people who use magnification software, screen readers, and other assistive technology. Accessing Second Life may require a user of assistive technology to update existing software, download alternative browsers, or make other modifications to how they are accessing the web. For example, blind users on Second Life who use a screen reader need to download an alternative browser, such as Radegast (www.radegast.org) and use the Radegast screen reader to browse Second Life. Second Life works quite well with most magnification software, but some programs may work better than others depending on individual platforms and preferences. Please contact us at employ@hawaii.edu for more information.



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