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SpecialEffect News

07 Jan 2014

Yogscast and Humble Bundle boost for gamer's charity SpecialEffect

Ray, an avid gamer from Dorset, is one of the many disabled gamers who will benefit from SpecialEffect's share of the amazing amount of money raised by the Yogscast Dwarven Dairy Drive in association with Humble Bundle. The proceeds will be divided between five charities, including the gamer’s charity SpecialEffect.

Ray, a teenager from Dorset, has lost the ability to use a standard games controller because of muscle weakness caused by spinal muscular atrophy. As a result, his console had gathered dust for many months. SpecialEffect’s team visited him to carry out a detailed assessment of his abilities, and as a result they managed to find a new, highly customised way for him to play the games he never thought he’d be able to play again.

SpecialEffect replaced standard controller buttons on his PlayStation joypad with two special low-force switches positioned in his palms and two headswitches on his wheelchair headrest. He’s now back playing games again.

For Ray this means much more than simply having fun. His disability means that he's extremely limited in doing any sort of activity, let alone one that gives such a sense of achievement.

SpecialEffect help hundreds of people every year, but the work they do is demanding and their support to each individual is ongoing. “It rarely ends with a single visit,” said the charity’s Communications Officer Mark Saville. “Ray has a progressive condition so his physical abilities will change over time. We’ll be on standby to help him again when that happens, and we’ll keep supporting him to game to the best of his abilities for as long as he needs us to.” 

This ‘whatever it takes’ approach is a big financial challenge to a small charity that’s committed to a policy of not charging for any of its help.

“It’s why the donation is an absolute game-changer for us,” said CEO Dr Mick Donegan. “We’re the only charity of our kind in the UK, so it’s a major step towards the £750k we need to raise in 2014 to meet the rising demand to help new people - demand which is growing 50% year on year. The donation will enable us to get the extra equipment we need and take on the extra staff necessary to meet this ever-increasing demand.”

“In other words, the Dairy Drive money means that as many as 100 of the most severely disabled and deserving people on the planet who would otherwise only sit and watch others have all the fun will be able to join in with the rest of us in 2014. 

“On behalf of those 100 people, their friends and families, SpecialEffect extends a huge thank you to Yogcast, Humble Bundle and all of the amazing companies who were part of the drive.”

The donation follows another collaboration between the Yogscast and SEGA, with the YouTuber's Honeydew being made available as a DLC character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and profits being donated to SpecialEffect.

Below: Ray enjoying FIFA again

Below: Dairy Drive Rally - The Yogscast on the road with SEGA's Honeydew DLC in Sonic. The car is being steered by eye-movement.

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