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SpecialEffect News

14 Jun 2013

Helping when it hurts to touch a computer

We're constantly learning about about the subtle ways that disability keeps people from enjoying video games. Take Rossanne, for example. She has nerve pain in her hands and arms, but loves playing MMO's like Fallen Earth and World of Warcraft.

She has Fibromyalgia, where the pain is concentrated in her hands and arms. It's almost like heightened sensitivity in these areas caused by all movement; she especially has problems with repetitive pushing of buttons, and she can feel pain by even the slightest touch.

We visited her and set up a head mouse for navigating the screen; switches on the floor to move her character and for the left mouse click; voice control for keyboard presses and macros; and used her voice recognition software to convert her speech into text, so she can reply to people texting her in-game.

It's given her a setup that lets her play her games without needing to use her hands or arms at all.

Below: Rossane's back in the game

She emailed us this week about her equipment:

'Thank you so much your help and the loan. I have so many days when I can't use my hands for much at all because of the pain, so I'm stuck watching telly just for something to do, which gets really miserable. It's really going to make a big difference.'

And the really great thing is that Rossanne works with people who have disabilities, so she's going to spread the word. That will mean even more people can benefit from the sort of tech we've been able to loan to her.

Thank you!

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