Blindfold Game Rejected by Apple. Again. (#184)

IEP Goals :  Expanded Core Curriculum Games for Visually Impaired Students

IEP Technologies is our new organization where we are building Expanded Core Curriculum games and interactive simulations for blind and low vision students, based on a child’s IEP . 

The child’s progression in mastering skills in these ECC-based games and interactive simulations will be preserved in a private secure cloud, visible to the IEP team in a web-based dashboard . 

If you are a Special Ed Director , click for additional information on using these types of games as part of maximizing student outcomes, relating to their 
504 Education Plan

Rejected by Apple. Again.

It’s rather funny when I submit a game to the Apple App Store, and have it rejected.  Keep in mind that I’ve built about 70 games, so I know how to avoid doing things that would cause a rejection.


Usually the reason for rejection is that the screen shots don’t accurately reflect the game.  Games on the App Store can have up to 5 screen shots for someone to get a feeling on how the game works, and Apple insists the screen shots must be sufficiently informative and accurate.

I tried explaining to Apple that about 90% of the people who download Blindfold Games are blind, and screen shots are meaningless.  Apple replies “You need screen shots so that other people know what the app will do, otherwise they won’t get the game”.  I replied, “Yes, that’s the point.  Sighted people are not interested in audio games.  Why should I bother?”  Apple replies “Because if you don’t, we’ll reject your app.” (Apple phrased it more pleasantly than that, but that was their point).

In the latest round, they rejected Blindfold Word Search, because they didn’t like the screen layout.  Even though it’s an audio game, I still show the word search grid, up to 20 rows by 20 columns, on the screen, using a font size of about 8.  Apple said the grid was not properly centered, and the font was too small; that violates Apple’s rule of good screen layout.  I countered with that doesn’t matter – it’s an audio game, and I can just keep the screen dark.   Apple said that too violates the screen layout rule.

I said I can make the font bigger, but then half of the columns won’t fit on the screen.  Apple said that’s OK, people can scroll back and forth.  I said that blind people navigate in the word search grid by swiping left, right, up and down, and that adding scrolling would just make the game confusing, and since they don’t see the screen, how would they know when to scroll the screen.

Apple said the app, as it stands now, may work for blind people, but it doesn’t match Apple’s requirements for everyone else, so sighted people will think the font is too small to see; you need to raise the font size, allow for scrolling.

We went back and forth like this for 34 minutes.  I timed it.  I have a fix that can work, but it’s a complete waste of time and effort.

Latest update: I made the changes last night, and Apple approved the app today.  Details on this app in the next blog.


  1. Apple gets on my nerves with many of their policies. And now they are dissctiminating against blind people- making a game harder to play fir blind people than it is fir sighted. Not right. Did they ever consider that 95% of the games are made fir sighted people and blind people can’t use them?

    Let’s make sure the game works for sighted people but not fir blind users.

    Keep up the good work, even though it’s frustrating!!

  2. I truly understand your logic and frustration, that said, I feel that we in and serving the blind community should equally comply for accessibility to the sighted in the same manner we insist the sighted community make everything accessible for us. It will require extra work on your part which will seem unnecessary, quite likely in the same way other programmers feel about making their software accessible for BVI.
    I mean for my comment to not be taken as critical, but as food for thought. Thank you for what you do and the hard work you put into giving hours of entertainment to those who have such limited options. You are changing the world, one game at a time. 🙂

  3. I understand your frustration as well and at the same time see the previous contributor’s side as the devil’s advocate to Apple. Next time remind them that Steve Jobs designed voiceover for the”BLIND”. We are grateful for the tool which makes the Apple products accessible by which thousands of bvi people can use the Apple line.

  4. Sighted people just don’t get it. I give you a lot of credit Marty, and thank you for what you do to give some enjoyment to Blind and VI People.

  5. Call apple and ask for their Accessability support group and ask someone there who you can contact to help this issue be resolved. GOOD LUCK!

  6. I think perhaps the only way to get your message across is to come up with a way to convince these guys to play these games themselves, blindfold, relying solely on audio, therefore using the gestures blind gamers use.

  7. LOL. Apple is worried about reverse discriminationtion??? I would think there would be specialty guidelines fir accessabiliry games. Thank you for hanging in there.

Leave a Reply