I've said this statement and so have others and for many computer environments this can be true and hopeful. But what about those who cannot access an online gaming environment because the menu system the game used didn't work with the assistive technology they were using? Or what if the gamer, due to the type and/or severity of their disability felt awkward joining in because they were afraid that they'd feel the need to disclose their disability to explain certain things such as having to game at a different pace? If you do not have a disability, do you feel the need to disclose other factors about yourself such as gender, race, or sexuality in order to give others reason to understand your style of gaming? Probably not, unless you are playing at a role that is not your reality.
But I wonder how many people "play at" having a disability in a gaming world. Is it viewed socially as somehow more or less acceptable than saying that you are female or male when you are not? This is not to say that being either male or female is a "disability" but it does bring with it certain assumptions -- right or wrong -- about the person you've chosen to go into battle with online. This is also not to say that if someone were to disclose a disability that other gamers would run away as fast as they could. I don't believe that people, in general, are that...well, evil. But if a gaming experience is to include social interaction, a person who types more slowly and/or prone to making wording errors (for example, I do, as a gamer who has dyslexia) might be seen as a more frustrating gaming partner/clan member. I, too, might feel -- and I'm not sure that this is the right word but it's the one I'll use for now -- "guilty" about being the one who slows down the group.
Thoughts? How can we make MMOGs more inviting and accessible and playable and, yes, FUN for those with disabilities?