Innovation That Matters

Charity gaming center targets disabled players

Publishing & Media

Much the way video games can help the elderly retain the sharp visual-processing skills necessary for driving, so they can offer the disabled a variety of benefits including socialization, rehabilitation and entertainment. Aiming to enable easier access to these benefits, UK charity SpecialEffect recently launched a video gaming center with specialized technologies designed specifically for handicapped users. SpecialEffect is dedicated to helping disabled young people enjoy computer games, and it recently invited UK Prime Minister David Cameron to launch the new center in Witney, West Oxfordshire. Billed as the UK’s first fully accessible video games visitor center, the venue will not only give disabled players a way to try out new games and equipment — eye controllers, for example — but will also help SpecialEffect develop more such technologies for people in the local area and across the UK. Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect’s director, explains: “The SpecialEffect Charity already helps a wide range of people with disabilities to discover how to use specialist technology through its website, roadshows, working with hospitals and home visits. The only thing missing was a central hub for people to visit. The new center offers them the opportunity to arrange to try out a range of cutting edge games and leisure software and hardware, with the advice and support of specialist professionals.” Disabled people represent the world’s largest minority, with some 650 million individuals around the globe, according to a recent United Nations report. Isn’t it time more brands began serving them? (Related: Instrument designed for kids with special needsNetwork for people with disabilities.) Spotted by: Katharina Kieck



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