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Man creates gamers charity inspired by his disabled students

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-11-26 16:50

About the solution

Mick created SpecialEffect in 2007, after being involved with setting up computer equipment for disabled children so that they could study. However, the teacher noticed that they often had no way to play or relax after school and at weekends.

“I realised how difficult it was for children with severe physical disabilities to be able to play independently. It is something that is so important for their psychological development, physical development, motivation and a way to make friends,” the founder explained.

SpecialEffect helps children and adults. It is composed of a team of occupational therapists and technologists tailor set-ups to individuals’ needs. They modify voice controls to eye gaze trackers, or simply change the springs inside a games controller to make a joystick easier to move.

“It is very customised. There aren’t many people who use the same control method with the same game,” he added.
The institution also workings towards raising awareness of this issue. Special Effect tries to make companies more sensitive about how they might make their games more accessible for disabled gamers. Sometimes it only requires no more than changing a few lines of code. SpecialEffect is also developing its own code — for example, to help disabled gamers play Minecraft, the popular building and survival game — and will make this open-source and available to anyone.

Adapted from: https://on.ft.com/2qPWi3x

More info: https://www.specialeffect.org.uk/
https://youtu.be/uZgV1GPlpE4

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Mick Donegan, from the UK, is a special needs teacher who founded SpecialEffect, a charity that modifies games controllers so that disabled people can use them. He was inspired by some of his students.

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