Benefits of Audio Games for Individuals with Visual Impairments

- Erika Teal

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The Expanded Core Curriculum (or ECC) is the foundation of the work of a teacher of students with visual impairments. It recognizes nine areas of learning for students who are blind or visually impaired that must be taught in addition to “core” education. These are areas that are either unique to students with visual impairments, or must be taught in a different way because of their disability. The nine areas of the ECC are:

  • Compensatory Skills
  • Sensory Efficiency
  • Career Education
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
  • Recreation and Leisure
  • Self-Determination
  • Assistive Technology
  • Social Interaction Skills

There are many ways to teach the ECC. A great way to add some excitement to your lesson plan is with audio games.

An audio game is exactly what it sounds like: “video” games that focus on sound to play instead of visual components. Many don’t have any visual components at all, opting for a completely blank screen while the person plays. These games address several of the ECC areas of learning.


Sensory efficiency is all about learning to use your senses to interact with the world around you. Blind gamers can learn to differentiate the unique sounds in video games in order to play them without vision. Some have even moved on to win gaming tournaments against sighted players! Audio games also make use of unique sounds to inform players what is going on in the game. A great example of an audio game with tons of different sound cues is Q9 Action Game, where you play as an alien exploring a new and dangerous world.


This area of the ECC focuses on spatial awareness and moving within a space. Audio games are great for this. An important facet of O&M is sound localization, or being aware of a sound within a space. Immersive sound in video games is making games more accessible to blind players, but many audio games make great use of sound localization, too. In A Blind Legend, you play a knight who must use sound localization to move through places without vision and use sound cues and gestures on your phone or tablet to fight enemies.


This one is self-explanatory: games are fun! People with visual impairments are often excluded from activities because of a lack of accessibility. Audio games are accessible to people with all types of ability levels, allowing both blind and sighted people the chance to have fun.


Like graphics-based video games, audio games tend to require a little technology know-how. They tend to be downloadable for computers, or are apps for devices like phones and tablets. The process of getting the games themselves means the development of computer skills and awareness of how devices work. Additionally, games are usually played by pressing keys or using gestures on devices. Audio games give people the chance to practice these skills.


Video games are a common hobby nowadays. Developments in technology, especially sound technology, in video games are allowing gamers with visual impairments the chance to access games that previously would have been difficult to play. Audio games are another outlet for gamers without sight to join in on the fun and the social aspects of gaming.

For more audio games, check out AudioGames.Net

We provide training, tools and resources to individuals of all ages who are blind and visually impaired and even offer a full calendar of activities. If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss and could benefit from our services, please contact Future In Sight at [email protected] or 603-224-4039 today!

About the Author: Erika Teal is a Teacher of the Visually Impaired at Future In Sight.