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How the fun and games started.

Amy is a 14-year-old girl whose family contacted Everyone Can after finding out that we find ways to enable people with complex disabilities to play video games.

Picture of Amy and Dave playing a game
Amy is an intelligent young teenager whose family have been searching to find an activity or social group that she could join, but none existed that could cater for her level of disability.

Amy has cerebral palsy, a disability that affects her whole body and makes most daily tasks difficult and playing video games impossible. That was until we carried out an assessment with one of our assistive technicians.

Taking fun to the next level.

We had now found a way that Amy could drive through Arizona in Forza and hurling ice balls in Power Rangers, but she needed a way to hone these newfound skills and this is where our gaming centre came in. Our centre is not only a place for her to practice, but a place for her to meet people and make new friends.

Amy playing a game with her carer

Amy is now in intensive training. Her goal is to become more proficient in using the adaptations that enable her to play.

We have set up a joystick with a custom-made top, that gives her the grip she needs to deliver that killer blow in Power-rangers. Over time we intend to add more buttons, however, for now she uses up to 3, placed to one side so she can accelerate and brake or kick and punch her way through the games.

Amy is now part of our gaming community.

Amy now plays alongside up to 30 children at our gaming sessions. Some children are disabled, and some are not and that’s how we designed the sessions, to reflect an ideal, fully inclusive society, where it doesn’t matter if you are disabled or not, Amy is just a girl having fun and enjoying being with other children and making friends.

Amy playing with some new friends on Mario Kart

It’s incredible to think how far Amy has come in such a short time and her journey has just begun. We will continue to help to her play more independently and more importantly, have more fun and find new friends.

Using gaming as a pathway to a brighter future

After 10 months of refining Amy’s control method, Amy’s parents were so amazed at how we were able to give her such independence over playing games, that when it came to her next annual  education review at school, we were asked to take part, to see if we could increase her level of Independence there.

Until our involvement, Amy had used a scribe. Someone employed to write down everything she wished to write. With our skills in also finding alternative ways to control a computer, we came up with the solution of Amy dictating directly to a computer.  Speech recognition works brilliantly and effortlessly for typing text, however, manipulating or editing text can be more laboured and frustrating. This is where we included Amy’s gaming abilities, turning her ability to access buttons to run, jump and cast a spell, into copy and pasting, spell checking and formatting text, automated task that would otherwise be tricky to do by voice control alone.

Amy is now able to keep up with the amount of work she is required to produce and more importantly, she is able to do this herself. This also opens up the ability to send emails, texts and other ways of communicating, without involving others.

Amy is an incredibly bright young woman and we feel that she could contribute hugely to society and the work place. She now has the skills to be able to grow academically at her own pace, not dictated by the will and availability of others.