Thread Subject: Accessibility of Second Life and related applications
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From: Walser, Kate
Date: Mon, Jun 25 2007 9:15 AM
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The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, National Institutes of
Health, National Library of Medicine, Library of Congress, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and about 10 others government agencies
now use Second Life (http://www.lindenlabs.com
for various functions including training simulations and public
outreach. Second Life is a sort of immersive environment in which you
move your avatar around and communicate with other avatars. You can buy
and sell services and goods, attend presentations, sit in forums, etc.
A group - Real Life Government in Second Life - has even sprung up to
enable these agencies to discuss and share ideas about using Second
Life. Use of Second Life and other immersive experiences may expand in
coming years for education and training, collaboration, and information
retrieval. The Real Life Government in Second Life group has raised
questions about Section 508 from what I understand.
In talking with some folks across the subcommittees, it doesn't sound
like any of us have discussed the accessibility of these immersive
environments or networked virtual environments. (There are others
besides Second Life) Not an easy beast to tackle, let alone in time for
June/July deadlines, but an area we should at least discuss and explore.
I can set up a discussion with some of our SRA folks who work with the
Real Life Government in Second Life group (and potentially with some of
that group's members) but have hesitated as any demonstrations of the
Second Life environment would not be accessible.
Is there interest in exploring this through at least a discussion with
folks who have been working with the agencies and have insight into how
they're using Second Life? And if so, please think about which
subcommittee we should have take the ball on this one - general, video,
Director, Usability Center of Excellence
SRA International, Inc.
4300 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
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