SpecialEffect launched the first ever fully accessible games suite at Helen and Douglas House Childrenâ€™s Hospice in Oxfordshire on Thursday 25th November 2010. The purpose built games suite – created and funded by Special Effect â€“ has been built to allow all guests at the hospice the chance to enjoy playing video games during their stay; no matter how severe their physical disabilities.
The launch was a culmination of hard work by members of the charity, the staff at the hospice and support from the gaming industry as a whole. In attendance were Helen Oakley – who regularly stays at the Hospice – and her mother Sandra who came up with the idea for the project. Also in attendance were representatives from SpecialEffect and representatives from the gaming industry who support SpecialEffectâ€™s work.
Dr Mick Donegan, Director of SpecialEffect said â€œThe games suite has been in development for over a year and a half, itâ€™s great the suite is now open for guests at the hospice to enjoy. The new gaming suite contains a wide range of access technology, from eye-gaze devices to switches, to ensure that as many of the guests are catered for as possible. SpecialEffect hope to continue to work with the hospice by including the suite in our road show project next year and continue to work with the staff and guests at the hospice to help find a way for everyone to play.â€
David Pastor, director of Support Services at Helen and Douglas House Childrenâ€™s Hospice said â€œThe value of the expertise which SpecialEffect have brought to Helen & Douglas House is immense â€“ the charity did not have the ability to get the maximum out of technological developments for its service users, however as a result of SpecialEffectâ€™s involvement many more children and young adults are able to use bespoke equipment and games to their benefit.â€
For more information on SpecialEffect and the accessible games suite at the Helen and Douglas House Childrenâ€™s Hospice visit www.specialeffect.org.uk