Bringing Accessible Play to Pittsburgh

As an organization, Ablegamers continues to push forward and strive to make the notion that games are for everyone a reality. We took few more steps toward that realization in September with the University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) becoming our eighth Expansion Pack, building a playroom stocked with thousands of dollars’ worth of gaming machines and accessibility minded-controllers for players with disabilities.

The accessibility playroom was set up in the Spinal Cord Injury unit on the sixth floor of UPMC and includes assistive tech like eye-tracking hardware, footpedals, the Xbox Accessibility Controller, and more. AbleGames has also helped train the staff at UPMC so they can help patients, even those unversed in gaming, learn how to use the controllers. “The goal with these Expansion Packs is to make these rooms feel like a place where patients can escape the pain and frustration hospital life can entail,” says AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn.

“UPMC Rehabilitation Institute is elated to help our clients resume or begin gaming using the adaptive equipment donated by AbleGamers,” UPMC physical therapist Randall Huzinec says of the partnership. “Gaming makes a significant impact on one’s social life. Gaming is therapy, the proof is the smiles on our patient’s faces. We are looking forward to additional collaboration with AbleGamers.”

You can view pictures of UPMC’s Expansion Pack here:


For more on our Expansion Pack initiative, you can watch one being built here while Steve Spohn and Content Creator and AbleGamers friend Jake Baldino explain in-depth what such rooms include:



If you’re interested in helping us fund more Expansion Packs like this, or a number of our other initiatives to help making gaming a space for everyone, you can donate here.

Javy Gwaltney is a publicist working with Private Division and other fantastic clients. He was once a Game Informer editor and spends most of his time writing words or thinking about replaying Mass Effect. You can find him on his twitter or his website.