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SpecialEffect News

26 Jun 2020

Six-switch solution gives Bryan’s gaming a level up

Bryan’s gaming horizons have just been broadened through a combination of online support and an equipment loan from our specialist occupational therapy team.

Bryan, who works in the games industry as a researcher for Football Manager, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He'd been playing games using the left joystick of a standard Xbox controller and two small accessibility switches running through an Xbox Adaptive Controller. He felt his setup could be more effective, so he got in touch to ask if we could help him to game to the very best of his abilities.

Ahead of a video call with Bryan, our occupational therapists Frankie and Nomi communicated with him via email to build up as clear a picture as possible of his abilities and the games he wanted to play. During the call itself they identified equipment options from our extensive assistive tech loan library that could have the best potential to extend his gaming abilities. They also explained the various accessibility features in FIFA 20 and discussed the possibilities of accessing more complex games.

“Bryan was sent a low-force Xbox One controller and a mini low-force joystick to see which was easier for him to use as a left joystick,” said Frankie. “He was also sent a further four small low-force accessibility switches to try.”

After experimenting with the equipment, Bryan decided to trial the mini joystick with his left hand and all six low-force switches distributed between both his hands.

Below: Bryan and his gaming setup from above. Velcro-covered bands and a lap tray hold the joystick and his six carefully positioned switches in place.

closeup of fingers using switches, inset portrait image

It looks like it could be a successful setup, and it’s already letting him enjoy a much larger range of games including FIFA 20, Forza 7 Motorsport and GRID. Once Bryan is sure that it matches his needs, our team will be on hand to offer further online specialist support if he decides he wants to try playing some more complex games that require the use of both joysticks.

Still open for business: Our specialist assessment teams are currently using online assessment and support as an alternative to direct contact because of COVID-19. A single staff member at our offices handles the logistics and despatch of our equipment loans to minimise the risk of infection. Our therapists, working from home, are in constant contact with each other, sharing information and expertise to further their work and assist our R&D programme.

Below: (top) Members of our Service Delivery Team during an online assessment planning meeting; (bottom) Loan items are thoroughly cleaned before despatch.

video conference screenshotstanding man wrapping a box 

We’re delighted that our online assessment and support continues to make such a big difference in people’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a service that wouldn’t be possible without your ongoing help, so please accept a massive thank you from all the team at SpecialEffect.

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