Bringing gaming to the Disabled
Special Effect is an amazing charity!
When I first sat down with Bill Donegan, I realised immediately that he represented something beyond just a charitable organisation, he was making people’s lives more enjoyable by giving them a hobby, the gift of gaming. People who are incapable of playing football and other outdoor sports needn’t have to sit indoors and be bored, when I’m at home indoors, I sure as hell don’t, why should they be any different? That’s the core thought behind Special Effect:
For young people with disabilities, the majority of computer games are simply too quick or too difficult to play. We can help them and their parents to find out which games they CAN play, and how to adapt those games that they can’t.
According to Bill, his father Mick started the charity for communities of young disabled charities. With a massively Positive response from the public (I should think so) the charity kicked off. Bill told me how SE helped a 75 year old man in Jersey by developing software that enabled him to solve sudoku puzzles, even though he had motor neuron disease. you see the work that SE does isn’t just for the young, it’s for anyone who wants to enjoy themselves with the help of video games!
Special Effect have been running many projects, for instance developing a system that gave Dean (pictured) who has cerebral palsy the opportunity to try out an eye-controlled computer system to play a variety of exciting games and creative activities, such as playing music just by looking at notes on the screen!
Other projects include the SpecialEffect Loan Library, without specialist help, it can be almost impossible for parents and the young people themselves to match the game that they would like to play with a control device that they need. As a result, many young people can only sit and watch while their brothers, sisters and friends have all the fun. Through the SpecialEffect Loan Library, we will loan control devices and games that can be tried out by anyone with a disability so that they can test them out before purchasing.
But how can we help? Gamer Base is a sort of database of games that players can map different buttons to, for disabled gamers this is amazing! It’s only in recently that developers have been making games a bit more accessible for those who would not normally be able to play (which SE have advised on), but there are a host of other games out there that can allow players to remap their controls, so if you know of any, please post them up!
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