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SpecialEffect News

18 Mar 2021

Custom setup reignites Tom’s gaming passion

Tom’s gaming success is now back in his own hands – and chin and feet – thanks to a custom controller setup created by our specialist assessment team.

Tom has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and his limited finger strength means that using a standard PlayStation controller isn’t possible. He can use some of the controls on the joy-cons of a Nintendo Switch if they’re placed in just the right position on his lap and wheelchair armrest but keeping them in position is very difficult.

He was eager to carry on playing his favourite games like Spyro Reignited and Need for Speed to the best of his abilities, so he contacted our specialist assessment team for help. They worked with him via a series of online support calls to find out the full extent of his functional movements and identify alternative control setups that could potentially make gaming easier for him.

“We suggested that a small low-force joystick on his armrest could be more manageable,” said Jacob, one of our specialist occupational therapists, “and we picked up on several other areas of his body movement that could potentially be used to press switches, including his left hand, his chin and an inward movement of his toes.”

The team put together a customised controller setup and appropriate mounting equipment from our extensive loan library of equipment and sent it to Tom for trial. The loan included an Xbox Adaptive Controller with a Titan Two adaptor to enable the switches and joystick to work on both his Nintendo Switch and his PlayStation.

It’s a complex setup that’s proving to be a great success. Tom’s finding his gaming much so easier and is delighted to be back enjoying his PlayStation again. The fun isn’t stopping at Spyro either. He’s keen to try out other open world games so our team has sent him a small joystick to use with his chin. We’re really looking forward to hearing more about his gaming adventures, and we’ll be there for him in the future should he need our help again.

Under the current COVID-related restrictions, online assessment and support is proving to be an effective alternative way to provide our life-changing support and one that’s enabling us to continue to bring fun and inclusion to many people like Tom, so please do get in touch if you think we can help.

Below: Tom’s setup includes a chin-operated switch, a small joystick by his right hand, a small switch in his left hand, and switches mounted vertically by his feet.

Montage of seated man with adapted gaming control setup

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