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Foldit Accessibility

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This page collects information to help people with disabilities interact with Foldit.


Auditory disabilitiesEdit

Sounds not necessary when playing FoldItEdit

The auditory components of Foldit involve music playing and sound effects, none of which significantly affect game play. Many persons with full hearing choose to turn off all sounds when playing the game, as the sounds are not required to play. In fact, running multiple FoldIt clients with the sound on will produce a cacophony.


YouTube video transcriptionsEdit

For YouTube videos such as Firas Khatib - FoldIt - YouTube (which include a voice component), the solutions so far are:

  • Check the video to see if this is already done (beta_helix's above *is* transcribed):
    • At bottom of video, click "(CC)"
    • Click "Transcribe Audio BETA" or "English (transcribed)" as appropriate
    • Click "Play"
  • The uploader of a YouTube video can request auto-captioning, described in Add captions - YouTube help
  • A kind-hearted, detail-oriented person can create the transcript and post it (with permission, of course!)


Visual disabilitiesEdit

Use of colorEdit

FoldIt makes extensive use of color to differentiate between hydrophobic and hydrophilic sidechains, to indicate mutated segments, and --- most importantly --- to give a visual display of the score of each backbone segment, which corresponds to the correctness of the orientation of that segment and its associated sidechain.


Default color schemeEdit

Foldit 1325301105

sample protein viewed using default color scheme

The default color scheme for the scoring of backbone segments is a continuum from red (worst scoring), through reddish-orange, light orange, orangish-green, greenish-orange, green, to pale green (best scoring).

Hydrophobic sidechains are colored orange, and hydrophilic sidechains are colored blue. Clashes and voids are both dark red.

As approximately seven to nine percent of males and one half of one percent of females have some form of red-green colorblindess, the default color scheme is useless to them.




Colorblind modeEdit

FoldIt also has a "colorblind mode" for players who are red-green colorblind.

  • In the Original Interface, colorblind mode is activated by:
    Foldit 1325301124

    sample protein viewed using colorblind mode

    • clicking on the Menu tab of the command line at the bottom of the display screen, then
    • clicking on the General Options tab in the pop-up menu, then
    • clicking in the box next to the words "Colorblind mode", such that an X appears in the box.
  • In the Selection Interface, colorblind mode is activated by:
    • clicking on the FoldIt logo button at the bottom left corner of the display screen, then
    • clicking on the Main button, then
    • clicking on the General Options tab in the pop-up menu, then
    • clicking in the box next to the words "Colorblind mode", such that an X appears in the box.

The color progression in colorblind mode is red (worst scoring), through pink, grey, light blue, to dark blue (best scoring). Hydrophobic sidechains are colored very dark grey, and hydrophilic sidechains are colored very light grey. Clashes and voids are both dark red, as they are in default color mode.


Relative score coloringEdit

Normal score coloring doesn't always clearly differentiate the scores between the segments that are neither high-scoring or low-scoring: a segment with a score of negative ten could have a color that looks very much like a segment that scores positive three.

There is a way to increase the differentiation between scores throughout the range.
Foldit 1325301139

sample protein viewed using colorblind mode with relative score coloring

  • In the Original Interface:
    • click on the Menu tab of the command line at the bottom of the display screen, then
    • click on the View tab in the pop-up menu, then
    • click in the box next to the words "Use relative score coloring", such that an X appears in the box.
  • In the Selection Interface:
    • click on the FoldIt logo button at the bottom left corner of the display screen, then
    • click on the View Options button, then
    • click in the box next to the words "Use relative score coloring", such that an X appears in the box.

You should then see a larger range of coloration.


Viewing against a dark backgroundEdit

For some, contrast can be improved by viewing the puzzle with a black, rather than a white background. Using a black background, however, makes it more difficult to
Foldit 1325301148

sample protein viewed using colorblind mode with relative score coloring and dark background

view hydrophobic sidechains in colorblind mode, since they are colored dark grey. Note that the option to set background to black is not available to those working on the tutorial puzzles. A workaround for that is to exit the client, go to the foldit directory and edit the file 'theme.txt'. Set option "gui/color/bg" : "255 255 234" to "gui/color/bg" : "12 12 12". This is an unofficial workaround. (BP20150201)









Theme fileEdit

The file theme.txt in foldit library can be modifed for your own taste.


Physical and Neurological disabilitiesEdit

Kinect for FoldItEdit

The authors of Foldit are working on integrating Kinect into the game. Those who don't have the fine-motor control needed to operate a computer mouse can use a system of hand, arm, and body gestures provided by the Kinect system.


Leap for FoldItEdit

Those who cannot effectively use a mouse or keyboard might benefit from Leap Motion for FoldIt. Leap provides an opportunity to get closer to the true hand-folding experience. One can manipulate the 3D geometry of the protein with the fingers and drag it to a true 3D position. One can essentially twist and move the protein as if manipulating it with one's own hands, as with a real world object.


Speech disabilitiesEdit

At this time, speech is not used in FoldIt; so those with speech disabilities are not at a disadvantage when playing.


Cognitive disabilitiesEdit

  • tbd

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