SpecialEffect: The Gamers Charity
SpecialEffect in three paragraphs:
We’re a charity that targets something that often gets overlooked – that people with physical disabilities have lives beyond simply ‘being disabled’ and want to enjoy themselves. We provide the specialist technology, advice and support for everyone to benefit from the fun, friendship and inclusion of video games, leisure technology and communication.
In practice this means doing working intensively with people one-to-one to find out their individual abilities. We can then match, modify or create technology, like adapted games controllers or eye-controlled computers, to best suit their needs.
We don’t charge for anything we do, and we don’t sell any equipment. We simply aim to do whatever it takes to raise the quality of life for every person we work with.
SpecialEffect in another three paragraphs:
We’re a charity that’s helping everyone with disabilities to enjoy video games for fun, inclusion and rehabilitation. We know there’s no one-size-fits-all way of doing this. That’s why we’re not about sending out free games or video game equipment.
In fact we don’t sell anything at all. We visit people to find out exactly what they want to play, and what they need to play it. We’ll then lend them the equipment they need, and support them until they can get the best out of it.
By committing time, patience and expertise, we can open the door to self-esteem, confidence and a better quality of life
SpecialEffect in 19 words:
Our mission here at SpecialEffect is to enable anyone, whatever their disability, to enjoy video games and leisure technology.
SpecialEffect in 35 words:
SpecialEffect is an award-winning charity that enables people with disabilities to benefit from the fun, inclusion and therapy of video games. They support people of all ages through assessments, equipment loans and equipment modifications.
SpecialEffect in 75 words:
SpecialEffect are putting fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified games controllers to eye-control, they’re finding a way for people to play to the very best of their abilities. But they’re not just doing it for fun. By levelling the playing field, they’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on therapy, confidence and rehabilitation.
SpecialEffect in 215 words:
SpecialEffect is a charity that targets something that often gets overlooked – that people with disabilities have lives beyond simply ‘being disabled’ and want to enjoy themselves. The charity, the only one of its kind in the UK, provides the specialist technology, advice and support for everyone to benefit from the fun, friendship and inclusion of video games.
Praised by Prime Minister David Cameron as “providing magic moments all the time”.
SpecialEffect been making a profoundly positive impact on the quality of life for children and adults of all ages since 2007. At any one time the charity is working with and helping up to 500 people on an intensive basis in hospitals, hospices and at home. They also influence the lives of thousands of people each year with support, advice and hands-on demonstrations at their award-winning games roadshows.
Their doors are open to everyone, including accident victims, service personnel with combat injuries, people with congenital and progressive conditions and stroke patients. You can see several examples in the following video
Their help includes the loan and support of mainstream and adapted access equipment for online and offline games. Some of the specialist equipment, like eye-control technology, is expensive, so the loans enable people to make sure it’s suitable before they commit to a purchase.
The charity doesn’t sell any equipment and they don’t charge for their services, so they are 100% reliant on donations for funding.
The Stable Block, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire OX7 3EH
Office: 01608 810055
Charity No 1121004
Registered Company No 6040232
Winner: TalkTalk Innovation in the Community Award
Winner: IT4C Best Volunteering Project Innovation
Winner: OCVA Best Use of Social Media and the Web
Winner: WOBA Charity and Community Award
Winner: OBA Social Media Award
Winner: TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award, South-West Region (Dr Mick Donegan)
Winner: WOBA Social Media Award
Guiness World Records
Largest Eye-controlled Video Games Tournament (Eurogamer 2011, 341 participants)