This week we’ll be putting our Healing Potion spotlight on the AbleGamers Foundation. This organization puts donations towards developing technologies to help gift disabled people with access to gaming which helps prevent social isolation, improve mental and social health, and gives them an inclusive community to count on. Let’s take a look at how they accomplish this!
For those whose disability impairs their sight, they can apply either a screen magnifier to make important details of a game (the example they give is the cards in Hearthstone) and make them larger and easier to see. Another option is screen reader technology in which the details of the game are described or read out loud. Lastly, many fighting games such as Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat have taken strides to make individual moves have distinct audio queues to help players memorize the sounds of certain moves. For those with neurological disorders they offer mini-controllers, wearable controllers, or a special controller switch made by Microsoft for Xbox that let’s you plug in large versions of the individual buttons and switches of an Xbox controller that has taken great strides. There’s even options for those who are quadriplegic in the Quadstick controller which in short, controls a game through a series of sip-puff sensors (inhaling and exhaling on a small tube) and different lip movements! These are just a couple of the options on offer and if you’re looking for a solution for a different disability you can click the link below to go to their website and look at all of the options or submit a ticket if they don’t yet have a solution for the disability you’re looking for.
But now let’s talk about how you can help out! Of course as with any charity organization you can make a direct donation or create a fundraiser to help raise money. Other ways to help is to provide a physical site for them to hold a gaming center for disabled people known as an AbleGamers Expansion Pack. They also have a merch store you can look through to show off your support. Lastly, if you are disabled, you can also help by signing up for a player panel in which you’ll help playtest different technology and games made with your disability in mind! (Must be 13 years or older to qualify though.) If you want to check out the site and see how you can help, just click the link below and hopefully we can help expand the far reaching community of gaming to give everyone accessibility!