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17 May 2023

Finding a way to play for Elliot

Smiling boy in wheelchair using adapted gaming setup

You simply can’t put a price on Elliot’s smile, so we’d like to say a huge thank you for helping us to be a catalyst for such magical moments right across the world.

We welcomed Elliot to our Games Room recently. He has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which for him means that controlling a standard controller is difficult. Our specialist assessment team spent time with him finding out which games he wanted to play and discovering more about the extent of his abilities. As a result they were able to suggest combinations of accessible equipment that had the potential to help him to get the maximum amount of fun from his gaming.

“Elliot enjoyed using the left joystick,” said Nomi, one of our specialist team, “So we were able to mount the controller at an angle that meant it was a bit easier for him to use it. We then gave him a separate large button that he could press. This worked well for for games like FIFA in its One Button Mode, and gave him the independence to play against his brother.”

“For games that were a little bit more complicated, like Minecraft, he really wanted to be able to play with someone else, so we looked at giving him two buttons where he could mine and jump for example, and someone could play alongside him using the copilot feature. He had a wonderful time trying it out with Jacob.”

Our specialist teams face different challenges almost every day creating bespoke adapted controller setups to match the specific abilities of individual disabled gamers. As a result every assessment represents a learning process, and it’s a privilege to be able to distil this accumulated experience and knowledge for sharing globally through our free accessibility resources like EyeMine, gameaccess.info and Eye Gaze Games. It’s also a privilege to be able to share our accessibility experience with developers through resources like our DevKit to help make their games more accessible worldwide, and to collaborate with companies like Microsoft in the creation of internationally-available products like the XAC.

But most of all it’s just a joy to see first-hand what a stunning impact this has for people like Elliot across the world. So many more people now have the opportunity to participate as equals in astonishingly rich competitive gaming environments and social communities, resulting in greater independence, self-esteem, confidence, achievement, and an opportunity to bring out the very best in themselves.

We simply wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the support of our amazing friends in the global games industry, long-standing partners like Twin Town, Humble Bundle and The Jingle Jam, and of course the many gamers, creators, runners, footballers and individual donors, who help fund our work and keep all of our services and resources free-of-charge.