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SpecialEffect News

SpecialEffect News

06 Mar 2019

New faces at SpecialEffect

As more and more disabled people get to know we can help them break free of the constraints of their physical limitations through video gaming, the demand for our services has increased sharply. Happily, thanks to our fantastic supporters, we’ve been able to meet this demand by increasing the size of our Service Delivery Team - the therapists and technologists who work face-to-face with the people we help.

Joining us in recent months are Jacob and Mhairi who’ll join our team of occupational therapists working here in the UK. And, to help Bill and Francis in finding technology solutions to accessibility all over the world, Harry has joined our Research and Development Team.

Below: Mhairi, Harry and Jacob

Mhairi, Harry and Jacob in the SpecialEffect offices

We’ll talk to Mhairi and Harry more later in the year but, for now, here's more about Jacob, one of our two new Occupational Therapists.

“This is my first role since completing a BSc in occupational therapy at Coventry University,” said Jacob, “I saw the job ad asking for an occupational therapist with a keen interest in gaming and thought ‘that’s a job made for me’.” 

When he’s not travelling up and down the UK helping people with disabilities to enjoy video games, he’s playing them himself. That’s hardly surprising seeing as he’s been gaming since his dad introduced him to it when he was small. Cool dad, eh? And dad’s mentoring must have left a mark because father and son still enjoy the same games today.

Jacob's always been a PlayStation fan and he’s just completed Spiderman on his PS4. And now he’s returned to the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which he loves. Not as much as Final Fantasy VII though, which would be his ‘desert island game’.

“Being a gamer myself has helped a lot in my work here,” he explains “Knowing the games means I can think on my feet about possible hardware setups and solutions. That’s probably the biggest challenge of my role. We work with a huge range of disabilities and each hardware arrangement is pretty much unique, so being able to assess and think quickly about the mechanics of the game we’re being asked to help with is important.”

But Jacob, the most important question is ‘Are you enjoying your work?’

An incredulous look and a laugh “It’s exactly where I want to be right now. I’m loving it. And if I can keep broadening my knowledge, keep getting a deeper understanding of accessibility options and putting them into practice, that’ll be me loving this job for a very long time.”

That’s great news for us and for those we help. Jacob is already an incredibly popular and respected member of the team. Flamboyant in his dress-style (he’s sat opposite me wearing bright yellow checked trousers and plain white tee), easy to talk to but already professional beyond his years, we’re hoping that our brilliant new addition stays with us for a very, very long time.

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