New options for video game hardware and software to expand accessibility are on the rise.

For example, a student at the University of Central Interactive Entertainment Academy, Aaron Cendan, created a video game controller using buttons rather than a joystick to control motion and direction of the player’s character. Demand has been so good that he has had to temporarily suspend taking new orders, but you can find him at

Other developments coming on market or in the works include controllers that can be operated with one hand, by motions of the head, and even with the player’s feet.

Software is getting on board, too. The most recent edition of Electronic Arts’ Madden football uses vibration patterns and audio cues for the blind, has a customizable color scheme for the color blind, adjustable sizing of graphics, and spoken menu items. Part of the credit can go to Karen Stevens, EA Sports lead executive for accessibility, who is herself deaf.

Greater accessibility to gaming not only means more available fun for our special needs kids (of whatever age), it means more opportunity for socializing – not only in person, but with online interactive games it means with people worldwide.

Information for this post came from the Orlando Sentinel.

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