For many years, kids and adults with certain disabilities, like limited mobility, couldn't fully participate in playing video games with their family and friends. A trend in creativity and innovation in video game accessibility is changing that for a lot of people. One of those new innovations is an adapter called Freedom Wing, which lets players use their own power wheelchair as a controller.
Freedom Wing works with Xbox Adaptive Controller
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is a large controller hub with large track pads that can work alone or with a range of external controls, like switches, buttons, and joysticks. It adds flexibility that was long missing from gaming, giving gamers the opportunity to customize their experience and play in a way that is acessible to them.
Xbox Adaptive Controller was developed collaboratively through several partnerships, "built from the ground up through strong partnerships with The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, SpecialEffect, Warfighter Engaged, and many community members."
Uses a power wheelchair's existing controls
Through the Freedom Wing adapter, a gamer can use the joysticks and buttons that they're already used to on their power wheelchair to play video games. No, this isn't science fiction, it's just one of the latest and incredibly impressive ways people are expanding video game accessibility through technology.
Freedom Wing was created by AbleGamers and ATMakers. Check out this Freedom Wing Adapter video to see it in action.
Part of the video game accessibility boom
Advancements in accessible gaming are popping up constantly, with a lot of movement coming from Microsoft.
Recently, Microsoft announced in-game transcription for Xbox and Windows 10 that lets players read speech and chat on the screen (available for a couple games at the time of this writing).
In 2019, Microsoft introduced Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, "a set of best practices that have been developed in partnership with industry experts and members of the gaming and disability community."