6 Questions for Blind Blogger Ashley Nemeth

I love connecting with the blind community and hearing their stories. Today, we engage with Ashley Nemeth of BlindMovingOn.com. Ashley, though totally blind, does it all. She is an orator, blogger, Canadian National Institute for the Blind spokesperson, and mom! I was curious to know how Ashley adapted to various mediums, and her opinion on blindness in pop culture.

Blind Samurai
Hello Ashley,

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. It’s insane how accessible technology has become, though we have a ways to go. According to one blog entry, you use an iPhone 6. Do you still prefer iPhone and, if so, why?

Ashley Nemeth
I do still use an iPhone, right now I am using the iPhone 7. I have been using apple products for a long time now because I like that they are completely accessible out of the box. I do not have to add anything to it to make it accessible. I also just prefer the iOS platform. I think that even if I wasn’t someone who needed the accessibility of an iPhone I would still be a iPhone user.

Blind Samurai

You want mediums like theatre to be audio described. Are you a gamer? Regardless, which features do you think would make even casual games accessible?

Ashley Nemeth

I love movies and theatre and books, however I have never gotten into games. I tried when I was younger, but always had to hard of a time following what was going on and missed way to much to not die in the first 3 seconds. I think that it would be amazing to be able to play games and have them fully accessible with a audio description so that it was easier to play. I think that no matter what you want to do if you are someone who is blind or partially sighted it should be available to you.

Blind Samurai

Blind Samurai was inspired by Marvel’s Daredevil. What do you think of blind protagonists?

Ashley Nemeth
I like that the protagonist is blind however I think that many of the stereotypes that people have about those who live with vision loss are from the poor portrays in movies and media. I would love to see an actual blind person be the one playing the character, there are so many talented blind and partially sighted people out there who would do a fantastic job that I think that is the route that should be taken.

Blind Samurai

We know you work with the CNIB. Teresa Aho, their Child and Family Services Councillor in Regina, advised Sask Polytechnic students on accessible virtual reality. What unlikely medium have you provided, or would like to provide, consultation for?

Ashley Nemeth
I have not provided any consultation on any other mediums other than a little bit for the game with Sask Polytechnic students and Teresa, and websites and documents. I would love to provide consult to any part of life wherever people are wondering how they can make something accessible. I am always wanting to help improve accessibility around us.

Blind Samurai

Do you own blind accessible promotional material from any fandom you participate in. For example, promotional material from a movie.

Ashley Nemeth
I do not have any fandom stuff, I have never been one for collectibles. However I appreciate it, and I have friends who do and I think that it is pretty cool. I would love to see tactile posters and or prints though for fandom type things I think that would be pretty cool.

Blind Samurai

Finally, what technology or product intended for sighted users has features making it indirectly blind accessible in your experience?

Ashley Nemeth
GPS, they have always been something that spoke so it made it easy to follow and use. I mean it had some downfalls like I could not put in the destination but the talking was great. And the popularity of audio books over the last few years has been a life saver, it makes it so easy to have access to audio books. There are many more out there I am sure, I am just not able to think of any at this moment.

Thank you for the insight, Ashley! BlindMovingOn is a boon to accessible content creators. Check out Ashley’s day-to-day adventures with her service doggie, Rick. There are many rad representatives in the blind community. Who would you like Blind Samurai to reach out to next?

Blind Samurai Photographs by Evan Butler

Evan Butler is a renaissance man. Content creator, provocateur, documentarian, and now photographer.  Evan and his (willing?) model have breathed life in to black & gray pixels. I’ve decided these photographs are canon!

His EarthBound documentary cannot come soon enough! Mafia-style back room deals? Check. Follow his progress at www.mothertoearth.com.

Silence, or violence.

Stain your face with the blood of the fallen.

The Japanese character for ‘Speech’.
Does our hero have a name?

A familiar pose.

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be choppin’ you.

Play again?

Perhaps you have your own interpretation of the Blind Samurai. I love receiving fan material! Hit up chad@blindsamuraigame.com.

Version 1.0.2 – Local Achievements Replace Google Play Achievements

Putting yourself in shoes of non-sighted players can be challenging. Case in point is Google Play Services achievements. They are not closed captioned by default and disrupt game play. Blind Samurai auto logged players in to Google Play Services prior to version 1.0.2. Failure to establish a connection prompted an error screen. It looked unprofessional and confused non-sighted players.

Google Play Services Error Screen

Our sultry voice actor, Eric Hollaway, interjects every time players unlock achievements. Now players need not be online to progress. Sighted players may review achievements by pressing and holding the trophy icon at the Title screen.

Achievement Room

The ranking system has been altered. Sighted players will enjoy seeing their highest rank achieved on the Title screen. Additionally, enemy kills contribute to your score. Your current and high score are visible during game play. The wait period between enemy deaths and spawning has been shortened. Game play is noticeably faster!

Finally, the Blind Samurai has multiple lives! Did you die on Level 3? Don’t fret! You are given 1 more chance to continue from the level you died on. Die again, however, and it’s Game Over. Player lives are replenished each cycle.

Version 1.0.2 is the most enjoyable installment yet. Do you have suggestions on how to make Blind Samurai more accessible? Please send me an e-mail at chad@blindsamuraigame.com.

And if you haven’t played the first 100% Blind Accessible Mobile Action game, what are you waiting for? Download from the Google Play Store. 50% of game profit goes to The AbleGamers Charity.

Blind Samurai Google Play Link

The AbleGamers Charity and Blind Samurai Team Up!

AbleGamers Logo

Henceforth, 50% of Blind Samurai’s profits open doors for gamers with disabilities. I brag that Blind Samurai is playable without eyes. AbleGamers helped a lad play without arms!

Here’s an excerpt from Giddeon’s story:

When he first sat down with the AbleGamers crew, Giddeon didn’t want to play any games… Giddeon has a rare disease that caused stunted growth of his arms and only a few fingers formed, which made holding controllers a challenging experience.

After some encouragement from our staff members, Giddeon sat down with our Adroit controller and Forza 3. Within seconds he was racing past the competition and smiling brightly at his new found driving skills. By the end of that day, he was coming in first place in every race. Giddeon had gone from unable to play to a racing circuit champion thanks to some wonderful technology.

Give these people a medal! AbleGamers provides players with equipment to overcome their disability and fully enjoy video games. Unfortunately, this equipment can cost $1000s. You and I will ease that burden by donating half of Blind Samurai’s game profit.

Each month I will post a screenshot of earnings for The AbleGamers Charity.

Do you know anybody that could use their services? Get involved here.

Or, download Blind Samurai on Google Play for only 0.99.
You’ll be a hero and get the first mobile action game 100% accessible to blind and visual impaired audiences.

Blind Samurai Google Play Link