Gaming for Disabled Children

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Gaming for Disabled Children is a way for differently abled children to experience gaming technology when they have a disability. Ceyda’s story is an example of what can be achieved. Read it here.

Video Gaming

Ceyda’s having fun playing her favourite video game. “Booyah!” she shouts as another baddie hits the dust. But she’s not using a standard games controller. She’s using a series of buttons and joysticks provided by the charity SpecialEffect. They help people with physical disabilities to be able to join in the fun.

“Ceyda’s always wanted to be able to play computer games, but never been able to.” said her mum. “She’s got cerebral palsy and finds fine motor skills very difficult. Hand controls are extremely difficult. She’s now got a large switch for the main jumping and shooting and smaller switches and joysticks. These are suitable for her fine motor skills because she has to use a joystick.”

Once Ceyda got the equipment, that was her off! Her words were “I’m now a gamer!” She’s been having the time of her life. Also it’s something she can play with her friends and not be excluded. She’s now in the mainstream, playing games with mainstream children. She’s now like her friends. Or her and her dad will sit and play football, just having fun. It’s lovely to watch, absolutely lovely to watch.”

Charity SpecialEffect’s Support

SpecialEffect visit people across the UK to find out exactly what they want to play, and what they need to play it. They create customised controller setups that match the precise personal abilities of the person who wants to play. Sometimes this might take the form of a modified console controller, at other times it might be a combination of voice controls and eye-gaze technology. Every setup is different.

Whatever the solution, the charity will then lend this equipment to them, and give support so they can get the best out of it.

The idea is to help everyone, whatever their disability, to be able to benefit from playing games. These are benefits that go far beyond just having fun – it’s all about raising the quality of life and having a huge effect on inclusion with family and friends.

The charity have helped people of all ages with physical disabilities. This illustrates just how much video games have become a huge part of society. More than 1.2 billion people around the world play games – that’s 1 in 6 of the global population.

This steep rise in the popularity of gaming has been accompanied by a rise in the number of people who can’t enjoy the increasingly complex controllers because of a physical disability. It’s these people the charity aims to help.

No Statutory Funding

SpecialEffect receive no statutory funding and don’t charge for their help, so they’re totally reliant on intense fundraising to keep their doors open. Demand for their assistance is huge, and their small teams travel across the UK to provide lifelong one-to-one help, and they field enquiries from around the world about accessible gaming equipment.

You can find out how SpecialEffect are levelling the video gaming playing field at www.specialeffect.org.uk, and watch short YouTube clips of Ceyda and many others they’ve helped at http://bit.ly/1GvgyUT

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