Visually impaired gamer urges companies to install technology to help read screens
6:27 PM, Jun 17, 2013
7:05 PM, Jun 17, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Reading the menu for Super Smash Brothers' Melee isn't a problem for Duyahn Walker. He's played it enough to know how to start the game even though he can't see the instructions on his TV screen.
Walker, 35, has a large collection of video games. It's a passion that his visual impairment hasn't prevented him from enjoying. But when a new game comes out with an unfamiliar menu, he is stuck. Walker, who is partially sighted, can't always navigate the menu for the video games he wants to play.
"If there's a menu, well I can't see it," he said. "I have no idea what I'm doing. I just have to guess and hope that I guess correctly."
Walker believes the problem could be solved if video companies would install screen-reading software on their new products. It's the kind of software he has on his laptop computer. A voice coming through speakers reads the words on the screen to him while he scrolls down.
Walker said he has contacted Nintendo with this idea dozens of times from the early 90's until last year.
"They basically said they'd take it under advisement," he said. He added that he would like to see screen-reading technology put to use on games like the Wii.
Walker lost most of his sight at the age of four when he was thrown through the windshield in a car crash.