Press release

Winners of the GAconf Accessibility Awards announced!


REDMOND, January 26th, 2022 – The winners of this year's accessibility awards were broadcast over YouTube on Wednesday 25th at 9am PST / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT.

Awareness of the importance of game accessibility has increased hugely in recent years, with ever more developers realising the benefits. The GAconf awards are a continuation of the industry-wide movement to recognise the stellar efforts of people across and around game development to raise the bar for accessibility, presented under the banner of GAconf (Game Accessibility Conference). The awards recognise efforts in 18 different categories from all across the industry, from AAA excellence to best academic research, from most dedicated publisher to best representation of disability.

The ceremony was hosted by the inimitable Steve Saylor, with a host of accessibility stars presenting the categories including SightlessKombat, Phil Spencer of Xbox, Paul Amadeus Lane, David Tisserand of Ubisoft, Jay Justice, Chris ‘DeafGamersTV’ Robinson, Mark Friend of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Dr Mick Donegan of SpecialEffect.

Accessibility of the event itself was also a priority, with audio description for blind viewers, signing in ASL and BSL, and subtitling in English, French, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.

Sony had a great year, winning seven of the nine categories they were nominated in. Ubisoft and Microsoft took home three trophies each, Grant Stoner picked up two.

The full list of winners is:

  • AAA Excellence - God of War Ragnarök

  • Indie Excellence - Return to Monkey Island

  • Best Deaf / Hard of Hearing accessibility - God of War Ragnarök

  • Best physical / mobility accessibility - Rocksmith+

  • Best blind / low vision accessibility - The Last Of Us Part 1

  • Best cognitive accessibility - The Quarry

  • Best representation - Just Dance 2023

  • Best journalism - Grant Stoner – How Disabled ‘Elden Ring’ Players Conquered The Lands Between

  • Best academic research - Understanding the perceptions and experiences of the deafblind community

  • Best resource - Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Fundamentals

  • Most accessible gaming event - Ubisoft Forward

  • Hardware innovation - Microsoft Adaptive Accessories

  • Most improved  - The Last Of Us Part 1

  • Biggest accessibility surprise - Microsoft Gaming Accessibility Fundamentals

  • Most dedicated publisher - Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Most dedicated studio - Naughty Dog

  • MVP award for most dedicated developer - Mila Pavlin, Santa Monica Studio

  • The advocacy award - Grant Stoner

The finalists for each category, together with links to information on why each finalist is nominated, are available at

The full ceremony is available at


My mind's blown. The presentation, the [audio] description, everything. That was legitimately amazing.
That was an entire hour of just waves of positivity and happiness streaming out of a topic that for so much of my life has been bracketed by the words "It would be great if" and "If only we could get the big corporations to care about this". Thank you for a great show and especially thank you to everyone who has made it their career to make the world a better place for everyone else.
That was the first awards show I have watched and felt buzzed after!
Conor Bradley, Director, Soft Leaf Studios
This is such a quadruple whammy - the awards themselves, the nominees, the winners and the added bonus of the faces we all know and love from the games accessibility industry - it's brilliant!
Harriet Frayling, Production Lead, Many Cats Studios
It continues to blow my mind that we're now at a place where there are 18 categories for accessibility awards in gaming and it's *still* really close in every one
Topher Windward, Software Engineer, Rare
This is the most energizing event I've attended in a very long time
David Tisserand, Director of Accessibility, Ubisoft
Brilliant. Awards that not only recognise publishers, developers and advancements, but advocates, journalists and researchers as well
Beautifully inclusive, accessible event!
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft
It's so exciting to see this kind of work being recognized
Whitethorn Games
So many awards shows could learn from the GAconf Awards! The slick no nonsense presentation coupled with audio description amongst other accessibility accommodations makes this a great watch, even if you can't "watch" it as a gamer without sight like me!
I'm already feeling 1000% more engaged and happy about these awards because of the host choices being people actually a part of the disability community. The quality of this show has been stunning to witness. Accessibility clearly taken into consideration at every turn and the transparency of sharing the information has been incredible. This is another show showing how it should be done.

About GAconf:

Understanding and implementation of accessibility has been growing at an exponential rate with every year seeing many developers making their first forays into the field and many more consolidating and building on past experiences. This progress presented an ideal opportunity to take stock and exchange experiences and expertise. A conference founded to push accessibility content beyond awareness raisers into finer details of theory, process, and implementation. To connect developers to each other and to the community, to amplify marginalised voices, and to act as a showcase of how to approach event accessibility.


The IGDA Game Accessibility SIG is a special interest group of the International Game Developers Association. The IGDA-GASIG volunteers have worked since 2003 to aid the game industry in making games accessible to all players, regardless of impairments or other limitations. For more information, visit

Press contacts:

Tara Voelker & Ian Hamilton,