Game on: Local pol promotes videogame equality for people with disabilities

Playing around: Senator Persaud plays a video game as AbleGamers COO Steven Spohn and AbleGamers member Greg Haynes look on.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Let the games begin.

People with disabilities gathered for a heated video game competition on May 16 to promote accessibility in technology for those with physical limitations.

Dozens of people gathered at Brookdale University Hospital for the event, which was co-hosted by state Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud (D–Canarsie) and AbleGamers, a leading charity that uses video games to eliminate social barriers for disabled people.

Persaud capped off the event by presenting the charity with a proclamation designating May 16 as “Global Accessibility Awareness Day” in New York state, after praising them for promoting equality in access to virtual fun.

“Video games are a mainstream form of entertainment today, so making them more accessible is important. They are not only enjoyable but also a beneficial activity from which players can derive a sense of well-being,” Persaud said.

AbleGamers showed off its adaptive Xbox controller, which is designed to allow people with disabilities to play games they otherwise would not be able to.

Persaud said the event, which she called the Game Accessibility Means Equality Day, or GAME Day, was meant to bring attention to the inequities faced by people with physical limitations.

“My goal is to spotlight the fact that disability does not equal inability and shine more awareness on how accessibility should be considered in all endeavors, including video games,” she said.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Winner: Senator Persaud presents a Legislative Resolution to Greg Haynes and AbleGamers.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

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