11 April 2024

Bringing Max’s hands into play

reclining woman with button board at feet and laptray with game controllers

Here’s a stick-swap with a difference! Our specialist assessment team have helped foot-control expert Max to discover just the right combination of equipment and positioning for controlling joysticks with her hands as well as her feet.

Max’s cerebral palsy makes using a standard controller with her hands tricky, but her flying feet had enabled her to enjoy playing games for a while thanks to a foot-controlled joystick-based controller setup that was carefully created by Max’s father and our Technical Specialist.

Now she’s ready to expand her gaming horizons with more complex games on the Nintendo Switch, which means more controls to throw into the mix, so our specialist assessment team visited her to investigate the options together.

Despite having greater dexterity in her feet, Max felt it was worth trying to bring her hands into play so our team brought along a range of equipment that could potentially give her a degree of joystick control with her arm and hand movements.

After trying out several different models and grip shapes, Max opted for a pair of joysticks that matched the range of her arm movements at the right height. Crucially, she also discovered that a more relaxed body posture on her sofa chair gave her the arm angle she needed to use the joysticks more comfortably and effectively.

That left her feet free for the extra buttons she needed, so our team assembled and positioned a firmly-mounted Velcro tray with 18 button switches, plus a small joystick for Max to use with her feet for faster-paced first person games.

It looks like Max’s new loan setup is working really well – she’s able to win races in Mario Kart for the first time and is loving exploring Animal Crossing. She can also choose between using foot or hand movement for the camera in complex games.

We’re so happy that we’ve been able to help Max play to the best of her abilities, and we’ll continue to support her gaming journey as long as she needs us.

Image above: Max with her gaming setup during our visit. Here she’s trying out both a ball-topped and a U-topped joystick. Our team continue to work with her to get the best from her setup, including adding a USB version of the Celtic Magic foot joystick for Hori Flex compatibility.