Colin’s single-switching to Pokémon success

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

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Colin’s battling to gaming glory thanks to a setup that lets him control Pokémon Sword with a small button switch on his wheelchair headrest.

Colin has cerebral palsy and uses a head-controlled switch for his gaming. Our team has been helping him for many years through ongoing assessments and contact, and his recent Pokémon prowess has been made possible through an equipment and software setup customised by Barrie, our Technical Specialist.

In-person assessment visits aren’t currently possible because of COVID-19, so by liaising with Colin via email to establish his requirements, Barrie configured a controller setup that connects a headrest-mounted accessibility switch to a Nintendo Switch via an interface, an adapter and a PC containing a selection of carefully configured software utilities.

Below: Colin tries out a version of the setup during this year’s GameBlast fundraising event just before lockdown. His current setup is very similar and consists of an accessibility switch (the small yellow button behind his head), a switch interface, a PC with a suite of ‘One Switch Pulse’ software, plus a Titan Two adapter that links them into a Nintendo Switch. The software used is vJoy (virtual joystick), JoyToKey, Universal Control Remapper and GTuner IV.

Man in wheelchair playing games

“A big game like Pokémon Sword requires the creation of a lot of custom software profiles for the setup,” said Barrie. “But it means he can get a lot of control from his head switch. He can navigate all the front-end Nintendo menus to select, start then fully play a game of Pokémon Sword. The system allows him to do this with other games too such as Tekken 7 and Crash Team Racing. He can load game files, explore and interact with the worlds, as well as quickly get into action when needed.”

Barrie and our assessment team will continue to support Colin as his gaming aspirations change in the future, and it really is an honour to support him. He’s been an ever-present friend to us, and we’re indebted to his family, friends and the amazing staff at the William Merritt Disability Living Centre in Leeds who have been a cornerstone of our GameBlast fundraising event over the years.