The DOTS RPG Project was created when Jack wanted to find a way to make tabletop role playing games (TTRPGs) easier for his blind friend, D. Jack realized the need not only for rulebooks, but various gaming aids like HP trackers, markers, and of course dice. What began and remains a fully altruistic endeavor, Jack spent months learning braille so he would be able to produce these items himself. With the help of their local gaming group Jack was able to raise funds to get a braille embosser to provide D with his own rulebooks and sheets for various games. Working closely with D every step of the way, they got started on how to best design braille and tactile dice for blind and visually impaired players. Thanks to many different individuals who have volunteered countless hours of their free time to this project, it finally became a reality. The dice mentioned in this video are one of the first versions; with a line inside the braille cell and the numbers engraved on the face next to the braille. With the feedback D gave here those elements were removed to make it easier for him to read. The braille dice have now gone through two other style changes, the final of which he never got to test.
Unfortunately D passed away in January of 2018, before DOTS made it out to the public. He is no longer here to share in our excitement as we get in touch with game companies, developers, and many others that love our project, but we know that his light and love is shining down upon us with every step! The DOTS RPG Project is his legacy and we continue on in his memory, working towards improving accessibility in gaming for all individuals.
In August 2018, Jack stepped down from the daily workings and handed the DOTS reins over to Jess Dempsey. Following in Jack's footsteps, Jess was inspired by the work he did with D and vowed to continue their mission. DOTS has changed course slightly, opening the focus to include all types of gamers with disabilities, not just the blind and visually impaired. The DOTS RPG Project has expanded far beyond what Jack and D ever imagined, becoming an official non profit organization with 501(c)(3) charity status. The efforts of DOTS spreads around the world with different publishers, developers, and of course members of the DOTS Family.
DOTS is learning, growing, and improving every day. Working closely with experts in TTRPGs, disability, and accessibility, we are able to collaborate and work through challenges disabled gamers face. Much of what we do is being addressed for the first time, and there are learning curves to just about everything. Thanks to the support of the wonderful community around us, we are helping improve the tabletop gameplay experience one disability at a time. All work is done by a team of amazing dedicated volunteers known as the DOTS Guild, and we wouldn't be where we are without them! If you'd like to see what we're working on, our blog has frequent updates on new and future projects.