SpecialEffect is a gaming charity in the UK which tries to provide direct assistance to gamers with special needs. They use a variety of off the shelf and hacked controllers and systems to ‘try and put gamers on a level playing field’.
So how can they help you? SpecialEffect’s most public aim is to help gamers in the UK get setup with adapted equipment so they can play but they have a number of services that are slightly less obvious.
- They have a loaner library of hardware controllers available to those who would benefit from them. The library is designed to let you try different controllers and see what works for you so that you can spend your money on something useful.
- Roadshows throughout the UK to demonstrate assistive technology
- Eye-gaze assistance. They can advise as to the right system for you, help modify it if required and train you in how to use it.
- A filled Youtube channel called GameOnForEveryone which has a number of ideas, hacks, equipment reviews and useful information.
- Answering email enquiries. While SpecialEffect are geographically limited to the UK they are willing to advise anyone who emails them.
SpecialEffect’s founder, Mick Donegan worked in the disability tech field for years and was continually asked if there was somewhere he could refer people to to access video games and leisure technology. Eventually in 2007 he started Special Effect and it has grown to 8 full time members of staff with the biggest restriction being funding rather than demand.
If you are at all involved in technology and disabled access then SpecialEffect should be on your radar and you should be aware of what they do.