A little over two years ago IPAT was contacted by a young man looking for assistance in funding a custom built controller he could use to play video games on his PlayStation. He’d already learned enough about accessible gaming to know that Broadened Horizons, Inc. and its founder, Mark E. Felling, were a great source for such equipment. We were able to provide funding for the purchase of the then custom built “mini ultimate arcade controller” and, with some of his own modifications, he’s still using the controller with his PlayStation to this date.

Fast forward to today and both the video gaming industry and Broadened Horizons are still going strong! If you have any level of mobility impairment due to cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or an injury or a stroke; accessible video game controllers have moved beyond the prototype stage and are now broadly available. With the latest specialized controllers the playing field becomes level for you whether you’re playing at home with friends or online with fellow gamers!

Currently available, the Ultimate Arcade 2 game controller is a customizable controller for gamers with arm movement, but little or no hand dexterity. The medium size unit (16 ½” by 5”, both pieces together) is game and console compatible with PlayStation 2 and 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube and Wii, and any PC computer. And, with the launch of Sony’s new PlaySation 4, we don’t expect that it will be too long before the Ultimate Arcade 2 is updated!

Two other bits of information for you gamers out there:

  • The AbleGamers Foundation is a non-profit  organization whose mission is to enable children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the world of video games. Check out their website for their game review database, community groups, and news on their Accessibility Arcades project.
  • If you have the inclination and the time to contribute to help Hackady make a custom gaming controller for a child with Muscular Dystrophy, share your ideas with them on their dedicated forum site – they’d love to hear from you!

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