Modern computer games have transformed from being mere sources of entertainment to dealing with medical, educational, and economic applications. Gaming can be a healing tool with recreational, social and emotional benefits. It allows the differently abled to acquire new skills, boost creativity, promote teamwork, and find inclusive social spaces.
For gamers with disabilities, inclusion is an essential part of this the experience. Yet, many disabled gamers find it difficult to play these games due to accessibility issues. Adaptive and assistive technology has slowly evolved to meet this challenge.
More resources are now available for gamers with limb loss or other disabilities – visual, audio and mental. Individuals and companies have been working to modify gaming accessories and peripherals and create accessible games. Disabled individuals, groups and non-profits have created other resources from forums and review sites to health publications to enable disabled gamers enjoy life to the fullest.
This resource page list covers these companies, online sites and communities which provide products, services, and information for the disabled on accessible gaming.
Accessible and adaptive tech
Gamers with limited mobility had to be resourceful in the past and adapt to devices. Game developers and manufacturers are now proactive in creating accessible products.
Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is the first controller produced on a large scale by a tech company. Gamers can customize these controllers using external devices and play their favorite games on Xbox and Windows 10. The site also lists compatible USB devices and switches.
Logitech providers an adaptive gaming kit for Xbox One adoptive controllers. The kit contains 12 tools including light-touch buttons, mechanical buttons, triggers and game board. These flexible set of controls have been created in consultation with various accessibility organizations.
With a new system update, Nintendo has made its controllers accessible to gamers with varying levels of physical limitations. Gamers can customize the switch with presets, create unique layouts and use them along with other adaptive devices.
This UK-based site markets controllers and access options compatible with most game systems. The product range include large switches, eye controls, one-handed controllers, and head and mouth controls. In addition, the website provides information on assistive tech and links to dealers with similar devices.
Broadened Horizons develops simple and innovative video games and accessibility products. The product range includes game controllers and assistive solutions such as switches, wireless headphones, mouth pieces, bite bulbs, quad mouse controls and height adjustable workstations.
Mayflash designs and manufactures video game accessories for PS4, Xbox, PC and Android. The company has a range of arcade sticks with joy sticks and large buttons for disabled gamers with limited dexterity.
The site offers specific devices for quadriplegics and downloadable controller profiles for specific games. The mouth-operated quad stick is compatible with PS3 and Android systems. It can be used as a joystick or mouse for PC based games. Quadstick has a helpful user forum for gamers.
Evil Controllers has partnered with the disability nonprofit Able Gamers to create customized controllers for gamers with mobility issues. These single handed and switch activated controllers are adapted for Xbox and PS4.
Ben Heck is an engineer who creates single-handed controllers and controller monitors for Xbox.
Active in the accessible gaming industry, this company offers high-end flexible controllers. Their products are useful for gamers with severely limited mobility.
Compusult has designed the Jouse series of mouth-controlled USB joystick as a gaming alternative for mouse and cursor controls. In addition to this, the company provides other assistive software for those with visual and hearing disabilities.
RJ Cooper designs and sells accessible gaming devices such as controllers, track balls and mouse button boxes. They offer people with limited mobility tools to control their entertainment systems.
Orin has a useful gaming product for those who cannot use their hands or have limited hand movement. The HeadMouse is a wireless optical sensor that controls mouse cursor activity with head movements. This accessible device can be used with speech generation devices.
The nonprofit helps wounded veterans with severe infirmities. They provide modified controllers for video games and other devices like RC vehicle free of cost. The group provides resources for adaptive gaming and educative sessions for other disabled individuals.
This free-trial app provides users with voice activated controls for PC based games. Voice commands can be generated with mouse or joystick. The software can be combined with VR devices for an immersive experience.
The company makes touch screen software, mouse alternatives and switches for kids with learning difficulties. They design games for kids that can be easily adapted for those with vision loss.
They market a software that allows users with severely limited mobility to convert their controllers into compatible game consoles. This is made possible without violating the warranty terms of the manufacturer. The Titan software works with PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and desktop computers.
Games related sites
Finding new game to play can be an overwhelming experience for a new gamer. Here are some sites that help with game news, reviews, interviews and guides.
Game accessibility is one of the best sites for news, reviews and other details on accessible games. The project address accessibility issues in mainstream games with resources aimed at researchers, players and developers.
They upload previews and reviews of accessible games using the Disabled Accessibility Rating System. They provide details on accessibility that may or may not be retained in released game versions. The games reviewed are played on platforms other than Xbox or PlayStation.
The software company creates games aimed at those with special mobility needs and also accessible to gamers with vision and hearing conditions They have a collection of downloadable desktop games and are now pivoting to mobile games. Their site also provides a great list of accessible games from other developers.
A valuable resource site for accessible games. The site provides game reviews and recommendations for low vision, mobility and audio games. In addition to this, there are articles on assistive hardware and software, guidelines and interviews.
This site has a database of over 500 audio game titles along with articles and reviews and news. These games provide a unique gameplay experience for people with varied levels of visual impairments. Audio Games also has an active community portal.
A site for disabled games that contains reviews on accessible games and guides on playing them. Can I play that? covers news from accessible gaming industry and commentaries from fellow gamers.
This site offers game rentals and free trials for video games. Gamers can search for titles from their large collection on the website or mobile app. They can try it before they buy or rent.
#25 PEGI (Pan European Game Information)
The site rates popular video games in 38 European countries based on age, with a special focus on games suitable for children. With the PEGI app (available on Google Play), parents can search for games by genre, age, and platform and set parental controls.
This site provides news, previews, articles and guides on motion-impaired gaming. The creator of the site also addresses visual and audio accessibility issues in her game reviews.
A popular site with reviews of mainstream and indie games accessible to the deaf. In addition to articles and interviews of developers and deaf gamers, it hosts a video game podcast.
A personal blog on accessible games by Erin who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy. Her website contains reviews on video games, tabletop games and comics. Check out her twitch channel where she streams games and also her podcast.
Disabled Gamer related sites
Various websites and nonprofits have sprung up to provide more options for disabled gamers. From tutorials, training programs and free products, there are lot of resources for the disabled.
This US-based nonprofit charity provides disabled gamers with customs devices and assistive tech tools with money raised through individual and corporate donors. The site also provides reviews and recommendation on accessible game titles.
The UK-based charity promotes accessible gaming by offering interested people a chance to try out adaptive devices. They have a separate site with information on accessible games, software and tools. Their YouTube channel teaches disable game to pay with adaptive controllers.
This Australia and New Zealand based site connects disabled developers and arms them with necessary resources to build accessible games. This platform is a meeting ground for abled and disabled developers and gamers with functional limitations.
Disabled World is an information and news website on anything related to disability. The site provides resources and reports on everything from adaptive gaming to disabled arts and nutrition.
As one of the biggest gaming companies, Electronic Arts is working on making its games more accessible. The Able portal offers guides to play their games and information on accessible game features.
A blog with a focus on assistive technology concepts and latest innovations in this field. Discussions include articles on prototypes and apps and software that help people with limited mobility or other disabilities.
The site covers everything related to the disabled community. It covers everything from assistive tech to news and mobility products to community news and personal stories. Abilities showcases disability products and services at their expos.
An online lifestyle publication which aims to better the lives of people with disabilities. Articles on the site cover topics including sports, assistive technology, wellbeing, travel, relationships and careers.
This Australian site provides helpful information and resources for people with mobility issues and the differently abled. The nonprofit aims to increase web and media accessibility through technology, education, training courses and access services.
Forums and communities
Gaming forums and community provide members a space to discuss gaming news and share their views on a game.
A great source for new gamers looking for fellow gamers, game tutorials, and information on adaptive devices and accessible games.
The streaming channel is popular with disabled gamers who enjoy esports and video games. Streamers record their gaming sessions enabling others to find new games to play.
Chat applications like discord allow you to connect with like-minded gamers or those who play the same set of games. Search for private groups or game-based groups in the discord directory. Join discord servers created by differently abled gamers such as https://disboard.org and https://discord.me.
This message board connects disabled gamers with each other. They post questions, add reviews, and link to accessible mainstream and indie games.
#42 Disabled Gamers Private Facebooks Group
This is private Facebook group for the differently abled who are into video games. Anyone can ask for approval to join the group. Members discuss about games and other topics relevant to them.
IGN is more than a game review site. This site boasts of a quality forum with active members. Discussions revolve around games on various platforms, hardware and accessories, and non-game topics.
What started off as a message board of a game review site has transformed itself into a popular standalone forum for gamers. The site hosts several forums with topics ranging from games, general to intellectual discussions.
This started as a message board to provide information and tips on different games. The site has evolved to include a review spot and an active forum with boards dedicated to popular games, platforms and gamer interests.
This community hub is for gamers interested in accessible Apple products. The site has a section where people leave reviews on Apple games. It also lists free and accessible games.
#47 Disability Visibility Project
An online community that encourages people with disabilities to share their stories and experiences. The community provides them with an opportunity to connect with each other and publish opinion blogs and create podcasts.
Health and Other Sites
The mental health nonprofit provides ample resources focused on specific needs of gamers, streamers and developers. The goal is to create more support for mental health issues and provide a safe space for everyone in the gaming community.
This non-profit uses education, advocacy and support to help people with limb loss to achieve their full potential. They offer wellness programs, scholarships, support group, community events and other tools for amputees.
The company builds assistive technology devices that is affordable and gives disabled people more control over their lives. In addition to this, they offer immersive programs, tech news and workplace solutions.
A Canadian resource site that provides health information and community connections for people with disabilities and debilitating illnesses. Along with topics on wellness and assisted living, there is a huge list of organizations and agencies that provide support services.
A Canadian online recruiting resource and informative site for nonprofit and charitable organizations. Charity Village has a comprehensive directory of social and community services for the disabled.