Peer Counseling

A royal blue roundish blob background small orange circles on top and on top of that a photo of a little boy laughing in a red t-shirt playing a video game using an adaptive controller while his little brother looks on

The primary focus of the AbleGamers Peer Counseling program is to engage, understand, and educate people with the knowledge and skills needed to harness gaming for social outcomes, combat social isolation, and join a community of millions of players worldwide.

Our Peer Counseling team consists of players with disabilities and occupational professionals who work together to find the best solutions to enable play. An AbleGamers’ Peer Counselor is an AbleGamers team member who gets to know the player with disabilities and to understand their unique needs. With the information, we identify the accessibility hurdles and provide resources and suggestions in order to facilitate play and engagement in the community spaces around gaming to create rich social experiences.

Peer Counseling Process:

Flow Diagram, 4 bubbles. 1. Getting to Know You. 2. Crafting Solutions. 3 Enjoy the Game. 4. Connecting with People.

We invite the player to lead the session(s), to share with us the experience they seek and their goals. We help to uncover a player’s strengths (and challenges) so that we can lead them down a path of success. We get to know the environment and the resources at their disposal. We work toward individualized solutions that will allow the player to start playing. We lead players into rich social communities to explore amazing worlds and stories, combat social isolation, and join millions of players worldwide.

Aaron Price is a Peer Counselor at AbleGamers. His own journey back to gaming has led him to being the guide that helps others.

AbleGamers’ Peer Counseling program was designed to explore accessibility barriers to play with the end goal of providing individualized solutions. To that end, peer counselors spend as much time as necessary, and figuring out the gaming setup for people with disabilities is extremely time-consuming. Peer counseling sessions serve as a starting point for granting the hardware, custom controllers, and specialized equipment/technologies that can be prohibitively expensive.

Most of our Peer Counselors are themselves disabled, they understand the path to enablement because they traveled it.

Can you support AbleGamers in empowering people with disabilities by making a tax-deductible donation or donating unused equipment?

We know you want people with disabilities to have joy in their lives.

Every day, people just like you donate to support our mission to enable play and change lives.

Resource Support

AbleGamers peer counseling sessions may start with a discussion about accommodations and accessibility ideas to get someone ready to game, but the conversations go a lot deeper than that. We know people with disabilities can often face stigma, ableism, ignorance, and even outright confusion when seeking out social support. Social support gives a solid foundation for people with disabilities to draw on as they enter the world of gaming. It builds an emotional safety net to combat social isolation and troubleshoot problems. By emphasizing peer counseling, AbleGamers fosters communities where people with disabilities can fully participate and are empowered to share their experiences. It allows them to learn, play, contribute, build networks, and directly influence change in the gaming industry and beyond.

Powered by AbleGamers

Map of US and Canada. The states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, North Dakota, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Georgia are highlighted. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island and Canada are highlighted. There are pens highlighting the Los Angeles area, Denver, Kansas City, Cincinnati, Raleigh Durham, and Harpers Ferry. The highlighted states or where AbleGamers has partnerships at the state level.

First launched in early 2016 and as part of Peer Counseling, AbleGamers partners with various organizations, including hospitals and rehabilitation centers to reach many more players and provide players with a nearby location to assist in setup to enter the world of gaming. Partner organizations are powered by AbleGamers through initial and ongoing support/training for staff on best practices in adaptive gaming and donation of specialized controllers and other devices. AbleGamers also supports State level AT Programs supporting people with disabilities in the states highlighted in purple.  Starting in Fall 2020, we have granted over $217,295 in grants to these states. We are also supporting efforts in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Canada.

With the support of gamers and sponsors, AbleGamers aims to increase the size and frequency of future partners.

Ability KC Logo
Craig Hospital Logo
Emerging Tech Lab at RLANRC
UPMC Logo, Life Changing Medicine
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We know you want people with disabilities to have joy in their lives.

Every day donors like you support our mission to change a person with disabilities lives through play. People with disabilities are 51% more likely to be socially isolated than a non-disabled person.