THE ABLEGAMERS FOUNDATION INC
October 22, 2010
I have worked with Ablegamers for over a year. They put together an amazing Accessibility Day at Games for Health in Boston last year, and also hosted a Game Arcade where people could come and play video games using adaptive switches and joysticks. Mark Barlet's passion for helping people with disabilities get more access to digital entertainment is infectious, and he was just honored by New York City's Mayor Bloomberg for his efforts. Ablegamers also works to help non-profits build computer accessibility into places like youth centers. The writers for the website, ablegamers.com, are an authentic community of disabled gamers and Mark has given them a place to talk about gaming and the devices and workarounds that will help give them a more fruitful gaming experience. I'm honored to be a member of the advisory board, and plan to continue working with Mark and his team as they advance accessibility for everyone.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
The game arcade that I've seen Mark host at several trade shows and conferences is SO well attended. People come from all over the country to play -- sometimes for the first time -- a cool new Xbox or PS3 or Wii game with an adaptive controller. Mark knows the products inside out and will help anyone with their personal accessibility issue. CNN has come to Mark to interview him and a disabled gamer for a spot on their show. The foundation is a truly inspirational one.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
The nature of the gaming industry can be male-centric, and it would be great to find a way to get more young girls with disabilities more interested in gaming as a way to express themselves and have access to more digital entertainment. This is also a bar that needs to be raised among the game developers.
Board Member & I have worked with Mark on Game Accessibility Day, and we are involved in several editorial projects together to build awareness for disabilities, gaming and accessibility.