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SpecialEffect News

01 Oct 2020

A handy boost for Kathryn’s gaming skills

It was fantastic to be able to level up Kathryn’s gaming abilities recently. She has limited use of her left hand due to cerebral palsy and was finding it tricky to use her Xbox controller with just her right hand.

Now, though, a custom controller setup loan created by our specialist assessment team has brought both hands into the action - and she’s loving every minute of the extra fun and inclusion!

Kathryn was eager to enjoy games like Minecraft and Sonic Team Racing to the best of her abilities so her father contacted us to see if we could help. Frankie, one of our specialist occupation therapists, talked with him via email to find out the full extent of Kathryn’s functional movements, and after considering several options from our extensive equipment library she recommended the trial of a large Ultrastick joystick, which she judged to have the potential to make the best use of Kathryn’s left arm movement. This was then sent to her along with two foot-controlled switches to act as the triggers, plus carefully-selected mounting and connection equipment.

The setup has proved to be a great success, and it’s a joy to see Kathryn’s smile and the amazing difference the loan equipment is making. Bringing her left arm back into play has been a game-changer: she previously used it merely to steady her controller, but now she can use both joysticks at the same time and carry out multiple gaming actions simultaneously. It’s opened up a wider variety of games for her to play, along with a more immersive and competitive experience.

"It makes a real difference," tweeted her father. "The ability for Kathryn to play solo and join in with her siblings is so important in so many ways."

It’s only because of your amazing support that we’re able to help create such magical gaming moments for Kathryn, not just for now but also in the future if she needs our ongoing support. Thank you so much!

Note that in-person assessment visits aren’t currently possible because of COVID-19, so we’re helping Kathryn via online support. It’s proving to be an effective temporary way to provide our life-changing support and one that’s enabling us to carry on helping many people with physical disabilities.

Below: Kathryn’s setup consists of a Velco-covered lap tray for securely mounting an Ultrastick joystick and a wedge that holds her controller at a comfortable angle for use. These, along with two foot-operated button switches, are connected to her Xbox 360 via an Xbox Adaptive Controller and a Titan Two adapter.

Girl playing video game, inset shows girl on sofa with gaming equipment

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