December Community Update

peer counselor helping a young man find the right adaptive controller

Peer Counselor Jessi playing video games with a young boy in a wheel chair, both are smiling and having fun
Goodbye, 2021! Hello, 2022!  

It has been a very busy year here at AbleGamers. Our team has DOUBLED in size since last year, bringing new minds, new skillsets, and new people driving our mission. There is so much more work to do in 2022 and we are excited to continue enabling play for everyone in so many different ways!  
As the year ended games were highlighted for their accessibility wins! Forza Horizon 5 won the Innovation in Accessibility award from The Game Awards, while the Can I Play That team gave out many awards celebrating ingame accessibility and the amazing efforts of the industryWe had the honor of working alongside a lot of these studios who created these accessible experiences, and we are so thrilled to see so many games being highlighted for their accomplishments in accessibility

Even though we are gearing down and closing the books on 2021, we’ve been busy ensuring that some of our partner facilities get to start their 2022 with fun! We sent some accessible tech to the team at  Ability KC to support their efforts of customizing dolls and other toys to be switch enabled. (Think the Xbox Adaptive Controller but instead of plugging in switches to a controller, they plug directly into a toy! It’s very cool stuff). We also have been sending hardware and supporting many of our partners like the teams at TTAP in Texas and West Virginia Assistive Technology System. 

A little girl with blonde hair and a big smile on her face playing with an interactive doll using a button switch

As a team, we talk about video games often. Most weeks we talk about games more than we get to play them. We decided to ask some of our team what they’ve been playing this busy December. Our team plays a variety of games which creates interesting Slack conversations and makes it REALLY difficult to pick a game for a team game night.

A head and shoulders photo of Andy Wu. Andy
Sr. Director of Peer Counseling
“I’ve been playing Clash of Clans on my iPhone. Need to be mobile while attending to a 7-month-old baby and it’s an easy way for me to sneak in a little play between diaper changes.”
A head and shoulders photo of Jessie Hall. Jessie
Director of Engineering Research 
I’ve been heavy into GTA RP. It’s such a creative way to play GTA where I can improv and roleplay with others as we get into funny or serious interactions, which in turn creates interesting stories”
A head and shoulders headshot of Vinny Vinny
Program & Marketing Admin
“I have been playing Halo Infinite’s campaign and Halo Infinite’s multiplayer on my Halo Infinite edition Xbox with my Halo Infinite controller. If you couldn’t tell, I like Halo Infinite.”
A head and shoulders headshot of Sam Sam
Senior User Researcher
I have a Switch and went ham on the Nintendo eShop Black Friday sale…so I’m currently playing the first Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney game! It’s been a flood of nostalgia and I’m sharing it with my pre-teen niece who loves it and is getting it for her Switch now too!”
A head and shoulders photo of Steven Weitz. Steve
Director of Professional Development 
I’ve been having fun playing Guardians of the Galaxy on PS5 – and by “playing” I mean: taking 5 steps before toggling on and off Raytracing to see where the pretty reflections pop up. At this rate, I expect it’ll take me 10 years to finish the game (admiring fancy bounced light all the way)”

AbleGamers News:

Dell/Alienware is one of our biggest supporters who have helped our entire team, from providing playtesting hardware enabling us to playtest accessibility for upcoming games to directly supporting our peer counseling efforts with funding and hardware. To celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities day they put together this nice spotlight video of our mission. To our Alienfriends We agree, games are best when we all can enjoy them!


The gaming community smashed TONS of mechs in Mech Arena supporting our missionMech Arena launched earlier this month and ran a special event supporting our mission making donations as their communities smashed mechs! There’s even more Mech Arena stuff on the horizon as the Mech Arena Championship will take place next year pairing 30 creators and 10 players to compete for a chance to drive a real mech and destroy real things!

A head and shoulders headshot of Sam

We had yet another team member join us this month. AbleGamers is proud to welcome Sam Nelson, our newest Senior UX Researcher! They have a fierce passion for Accessibility, UX, and Rats! Sam brings many skills to AbleGamers and will be a powerful addition to the User Research Team. We all look forward to working with you Sam! 

Community Spotlight:

We had some amazing support from the streaming communities of Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming! Gaymergirlsammie took us on a relaxing journey on the Sea of Thieves filled with explosive powder kegs, PlaywithJambo and the ClausemyCause team from Tiltify donateduring Aforestlife’s stream smashing her fundraising goal and some of our team stopped by the Raids of Love event to play some Halo and Among Us. We can’t forget the awesome Dragon Age Day, a fan holiday from the Dragon Age community that smashed their goals and raised an amazing $27,204.69!

Screen shot from a Twitch stream showing 5 people on screen talking.

Are you planning an event to support our mission? if so let us know via our Event Submission form  
We also figured out the password to our TikTok and are planning to share some content there in the new year Feel free to give us a follow on our official TikTok channel! If TikTok isn’t your thing, we also have TwitterInstagramFacebook, and Twitch. 

Happy New Year from all of us at AbleGamers!