If you have a physical disability and want to play video games, we're here to do all we can to help you.
Our support is always tailored to your abilities rather than the condition you have, so depending on what's required, a visit to our Games Room in Oxfordshire with its suite of accessible gaming consoles and computers may be a suitable way to see what works for you. We can also visit you at home if your disability limits your ability to travel.
Our team of occupational therapists and technologists know their games and adapted technology inside out, so they'll make sure that that the equipment, positioning and mounting will be the best possible for any solutions we recommend.
Who do we help?
We welcome contact from anyone with a physical disability, including (but not restricted to) accident victims, service personnel with combat injuries, people with congenital and progressive conditions, and stroke patients. You can see some of the inspirational people we've helped on our YouTube Channel.
Is there an age limit?
No. We've introduced children as young as three to video games that will help to develop their recognition of cause and effect, and we've worked with senior citizens too.
I’m a health/education/social care professional. Can I refer someone to you?
Following an enquiry, we need to gather very detailed information about a person’s physical abilities, the games they play/want to play and what they’re finding difficult. We’ve found it’s best if we do this and arrange any subsequent contact/follow-up support directly with the person themselves. Please pass on our details to the person requiring our services and ask them (or a family member/carer) to send an enquiry via our website contact form.
What types of games do you give advice about?
We're working to introduce all forms of technology-based leisure, including popular computer games like FIFA, Football Manager, Call of Duty and Minecraft. But we're also there to help with pastime games like computer chess or sudoku - and even switch-operated ball throwers for interacting with the family dog.
What are the benefits of video games?
The greatest benefit is inclusion. Being able to join in with friends and family (and beat them!) is priceless for self-esteem and independence.
How much will it cost?
We don't charge for any help or loans that we give to individuals, and that includes support visits and loans from our equipment library. After working with you, you’ll know what equipment is right for you and be ready to buy your own. We’ll provide detailed information about the equipment and where to purchase it. Please note that we don't sell equipment or provide funding.
How long will I need to wait an assessment?
If it's appropriate for us to offer help in the form of a visit to where you are, or a visit to our Games Room here in Oxfordshire, our waiting list times usually vary between two and three months. That can be be longer, for example at times of greater demand such as the run-up to Christmas and the run-up to the summer holidays. We do always try to offer help as quickly as possible.
I'm from outside the UK - can you visit me?
Unfortunately not. We're currently stretching ourselves to cover demand within the UK. But we can offer advice over the phone or by email, and we have a growing number of assistive gaming tech guides and control walkthroughs on our YouTube channel.
What if you can't help me?
If we can’t help directly, then we’ll try and link you to other organisations that can.
Get in touch
If you think we might be able to help, the best way to get in touch is through our website contact form, where you can give us more details about your abilities.
What you said
"Your careful, personal approach was absolutely brilliant. I can't speak highly enough of the whole experience." - Janice, Occupation Therapist
"Okay, yes, the hardware exists to help, but without SpecialEffect's experience, knowledge, sheer determination and tenacity, these things wouldn’t work as well as they do. After all, technology is all well and good, but if it doesn’t work based on specific needs then it’s useless. SpecialEffect combines everything possible to overcome the seemingly impossible." - Neil Hickton, thisismyjoystick