Early this year I had the pleasure to attend the ATiA 2019 Conference – one of the biggest assistive technology conferences in the world. ATiA Conferences offer hundreds of ways to learn about assistive technology through sessions, speakers, brainstorming sessions, and hands-on opportunities. There, I attended a session called, “Access Granted: Gaming for Accessible Switch Users“. This session is the star of today’s blog and is like a 101 introductory course to all things gaming for people with disabilities – especially switch users.

Accessible Gaming – it’s not what you think, it’s so much more.

Accessible gaming refers to the laws, regulations, and adaptations that exist so people with disabilities can have access to video games. This can include something as simple as Solitare on a desktop computer, video games on well-known products like the Nintendo or Xbox, or game apps on a smartphone or tablet. Basically, if a game is on a digital platform, accessible gaming is the ability to adapt that game so a person with a disability can play it.

Accessible gaming is:

Creative – Freedom – Connection – Joy – Play – Fun – Social – Educational – Competitive – Challenging – Innovative – Confidence Builder – and so much more!

Don’t believe me? Watch this!

Access Granted: Gaming for Accessible Switch Users

“Access Granted: Gaming for Accessible Switch Users” was a session I attended at ATiA 2019. Through this session, Betsy Hawkins, OTD, OTR/L and Christopher Gonzalez (OTD student) walked us through the basics of how to assess need for, acquire, and fund assistive technology for gaming.

Through this resource, you’ll find information about:

  • Accessible gaming platforms,
  • Availability of adapted controllers,
  • Setting up users to game and supporting gamers of
    all levels,
  • Strategies for selecting games,
  • Switch accessible-by-design games,
  • Mainstream game recommendations,
  • Pros-Cons, and
  • Resources!

The Learning Objectives Include:

  • Compare four different gaming platforms with switch access.
  • Describe two strategies for setting up switch users to game as independently as possible.
  • Develop a list of at least four resources for accessible gaming for switch users.

Links for, “Access Granted: Gaming for Accessible Switch Users”:

A Special Thanks!

Thank you Betsy Hawkins, OTD, OTR/L and Christopher Gonzalez (OTD student) for allowing me to share your presentation! Congratulations on a wonderful presentation at ATiA 2019. You are changing lives with your work.

 Betsy Hawkins, OTD, OTR/L and Christopher Gonzalez (OTD student)



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