Accessible Gaming

My brother, Jay, would always receive gaming systems as a gift for the holidays and birthdays.  The very first system was an Atari and then a Nintendo.

I loved playing both and, of course, he’d let me play because as he says, “I’m his little sister.” Plus, I would bug the heck out of him.

The Atari’s joystick was easy to navigate, but Nintendo’s, not so much. See, the buttons on the controller that made Super Mario jump on the game were on the left-hand side of the controller. My left hand has more paralysis than my right hand, due to my cerebral palsy, so it made it more difficult to play that game.

I was a smart kid who always managed to figure out what I needed to do, especially when it came to having fun. So, figuring out how to play Super Mario was no exception. After examining the Nintendo’s controller, I realized if I turned the controller upside down the buttons I needed to jump would be on the right-hand side, which is my dominant hand.  This made it possible for me to play the game.

Although I was amused with my gaming independence, I still wanted to compete against someone. Jay would play with me when he felt like it but not as much as I wanted him too, which by the way, was 24 hours a day!

Thanks to Easterseals, people with disabilities, who are gamers, can now get their game on with the world.

On December 3, 2022, which was also International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Easterseals sponsored a Game4Access Streamathon. This event is aimed for people with disabilities to be able to compete with others around the world. Although it’s aimed at people with disabilities, all gamers are welcome.

Often the disability community has a difficult time joining in on activities. To be honest, sometimes people bully and give negative vibes.  This often deters us from what we want to do. As I always say, just because I have a disability doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy everything life has to bring. Easterseals recognized that gaming is one of the activities that’s not always open to the disability community, therefore, they decided to develop a platform.

I’m happy people with disabilities who are gamers are now able to enjoy the activity they love in an all inclusion manner. It’s my hope that the rest of the world will take a cue from Easterseals and figure out how their company, agency or organization can do the same.

Good Job Easterseals, good job!

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