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Accessibility Matters: Board Games for Adults with Disabilities

Playing board games is a fun and social way to pass the time, but it can be difficult for people with disabilities to find games that are accessible to them. As someone who is passionate about promoting gaming accessibility and inclusivity, I’ve compiled a list of popular board games that may be well-suited for adults with disabilities. From creative storytelling games to cooperative games, this list provides a starting point for individuals seeking informed decisions when purchasing modern board games for themselves or their loved ones.
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Inclusive Gaming is Essential

Promoting gaming accessibility and addressing the special needs of people with disabilities in the board gaming community is essential, and in this blog post, I am thrilled to present a list of popular board games that may be well-suited for adults with disabilities. With a background in public health and health policy, as well as being an avid board gamer, I hope this subjective list can serve as a helpful starting point for making a more informed decision when purchasing modern board games.

Inclusive gaming is essential to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of gaming.

Dixit

First up on my list is Dixit—which happens to be a game that I personally love! Dixit is a creative storytelling game that includes artistic cards that players use to communicate their interpretations of the images. This feature may be particularly helpful for people with visual or hearing impairments.  

The game is also adjustable, with difficulty levels that can be modified to suit different players’ abilities, which may make it adaptable for individuals with varying cognitive capabilities. Additionally, Dixit encourages free expression and offers different modes of communication, which could be suitable for people with disabilities who enjoy social interaction and creativity.  

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Tsuro

Tsuro is a tile-based board game that may be suitable for individuals with cognitive or visual disabilities. Players take turns placing tiles on the board, creating a path for their stone game pieces to follow, with the objective of staying on the board while forcing other players off. You can easily play the entire game without reading and there are no complex rules, which makes it easier for players to understand and play. 

Tsuro is a game that I play often with family. Due to the simple mechanics, I find it to be an excellent choice for promoting socialization, spatial awareness, and problem-solving skills. The game is also quick to learn and play, making it a great option for a fun and relaxing game night with friends and family of varying abilities. While it may not be suitable for everyone with disabilities, it can be a good option for those who enjoy strategic games that require planning and foresight. 

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Codenames

Codenames is a deduction game that could potentially be a good choice for individuals with visual impairments since it does not require any visual aids to play. In the game, two teams play against each other, trying to locate their agents hidden behind a grid of cards with different words. The Spymaster provides one-word clues to help their team identify their agents without accidentally picking the other team’s agents or the assassin.  

A game that never gets old to me. The game components are only made up of cards and a grid, which makes them easier to manipulate and see for those with visual or dexterity impairments. Large print cards can also be used if needed. Furthermore, individuals with cognitive impairments may find the game easier to learn and participate due to the game mechanics being straightforward.  

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Qwirkle

Qwirkle is a tactile strategy game that may be a good option for individuals with visual or hearing impairments as it does not heavily rely on color or sound. The game includes 108 wooden tiles with unique combinations of six shapes and six colors, which players can match based on either shape or color while feeling different textures. Additionally, the game features large and easy-to-handle tiles that make it accessible for players who may struggle with smaller objects.  

Qwirkle is an easy-to-learn game that promotes strategic thinking, pattern recognition, and planning, which may be suitable for individuals with cognitive disabilities. The game also allows players to create their own variations using the tiles, adding to its flexibility. 

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The Mind

The Mind is a cooperative card game that might be well-suited for people with visual or hearing impairments, as it does not require reading or complicated rules. Instead, it relies on players’ ability to anticipate the actions of others and count. The game involves players working together to play cards in sequential order without communicating with each other, using nonverbal communication to achieve their goal. This unique mechanic makes The Mind an excellent choice for individuals who may have difficulty with verbal communication.  

The simplicity of the gameplay combined with the cooperative element also makes it a great option for groups with mixed abilities, including players with physical or cognitive disabilities.  

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Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is another cooperative game where players must work together to escape a sinking island before it’s too late. This game is particularly suitable for people with visual impairments, as the board and cards use high-contrast graphics and large, easy-to-read text. The game also features tactile components that make it accessible to players with mobility impairments, such as thick cardboard tiles that are easy to pick up and manipulate. The cooperative gameplay and simple mechanics make it a great choice for players with cognitive or learning disabilities, as there is no need for complex strategy or memory skills. Forbidden Island also has a variable difficulty level, allowing players to adjust the game’s challenge to their comfort level.   

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Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a tactile board game that may be suitable for individuals with varying cognitive capabilities. In this game, players are challenged to build railway routes across North America using colored cards to connect cities. The rules are simple and easy to understand. And the game’s tactile nature, including handling train pieces and card decks, can provide a sensory experience that might be particularly beneficial for people with visual or hearing impairments. 

Ticket to Ride is also adaptable to different group sizes, ranging from two to five players, making it an excellent choice for small groups or one-on-one play. The game typically takes around 30-60 minutes to complete, which makes it perfect for those who prefer or require frequent breaks. 

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Santorini

Santorini is an abstract strategy game where two players control two characters each, constructing towers to reach the third level while trying to prevent their opponent from doing the same. The game features a 5×5 grid with colorful, tactile components that are easily distinguishable, making it an interesting option for those with visual or cognitive impairments. 

The game’s mechanics are straightforward, allowing players to focus on strategic thinking and planning their moves. Additionally, the game doesn’t require verbal communication, which can be beneficial for individuals who have difficulty with verbal communication or are non-verbal. 

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The Final Score

Ultimately, the suitability of a game for an individual with a disability depends on their unique needs and preferences. It is important to consider factors such as the game’s complexity, the level of physical interaction required, and the individual’s specific abilities and limitations. However, the games listed are just a few examples of games that may be worth exploring for individuals with disabilities who enjoy board games and are looking for fun and accessible options. If you’re interested in seeing more game board ideas, check out my list for the best 2 player board games for adults!

By using the affiliate links in this post, you can purchase or book something, and in turn, I will earn a small commission. This comes at no additional cost to you and helps me cover the costs associated with running this site. For more information, please refer to my privacy page. Thank you for your support!

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