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Walk the Accessible Plank, Matey!

April 3, 2011

Fiona has watched me do other builds, and she asks a lot of questions.  Apparently she has picked up some of the Best Practices, but I have to admit I did not see this one coming.

Our daughter is also a Disability Advocate. If she goes into a public restroom and there is no handicap-accessible stall, somebody is going to hear about it.

So, there I was, building her “Pirate Ship”, and I asked, “Do you want a plank you can make people walk?”

“Well, yes, but I want it to have invisible sides, the kind that turn red when you hit those keys and ‘t’, or people will fall off the sides!”

The kind that “turn red when you hit those keys and ‘t'” refer to what happens when you hit CMD-OPT-T (or CTRL-ALT-T in Windows) to “Highlight Transparent”.  In this, Fiona is using a Best Practice in Accessible Design: when you have a ramp or other narrow area, or anything where people are likely to fall off the side, use railings.  If necessary for the look of your build, make those railings invisible.  People who find it difficult to navigate precisely, which can be from a disability or just being new to Virtual Worlds, tend to fall off the side of things fairly often.  This prevents that.

So, at our child’s insistence, her Pirate Ship has a Plank that is Accessible.  Nobody is going to fall off the side: they are going to go right to the end and fall to the sharks circling below.

Only Fiona would think of something like that. I love this kid!

Highlighted transparent rails for the plank

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