At AbleGamers, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the world of gaming, regardless of their abilities. Our founder and executive director, Mark Barlet, has made it his life’s mission to champion accessibility and inclusivity in the gaming industry. Through his dedication and leadership, AbleGamers has grown into a leading non-profit organization, providing essential resources and support to gamers with disabilities.
In 2004, Mark, together with his friend Stephanie Walker, founded AbleGamers after Stephanie encountered barriers to gaming due to progression of her multiple sclerosis. Unable to play together, and Mark himself being a Service-Disabled USAF veteren, they recognized the need for an organization that would empower disabled gamers and create a world where everyone can game.
With Mark at the helm, AbleGamers has made a substantial impact on the lives of countless gamers with disabilities. Our organization offers one-on-one support to empower people with disabilities to experience gaming, grants for assistive technology, and collaborates with industry leaders to influence accessible game design and development. Mark’s advocacy has been featured in prominent media outlets such as CNN, NPR, and The New York Times, raising crucial awareness about the importance of accessibility in gaming.
Mark’s dedication to the cause has been recognized with prestigious awards, AAPD Paul G. Hearn Leadership Award and the Multiple Sclerosis Society DiVinche and Leo Award. As a sought-after speaker, Mark shares his expertise at conferences like the Game Developers Conference (GDC), PAX, and SXSW, inspiring the gaming community to embrace inclusivity and accessibility.
Beyond his work with AbleGamers, Mark has an impressive background in technology and cybersecurity, having worked with the United States Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and various Fortune 500 companies as a usability specialist advancing access for people with disabilities.
Mark Barlet’s unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers in the gaming world has made him an inspiring leader and a true advocate for the disabled gaming community. Through his work with AbleGamers, Mark continues to demonstrate that with the right tools and support, everyone can experience the joy of gaming.