SpecialEffect’s third annual fundraiser One Special Day is coming up soon, and the U.K.-based nonprofit is inviting the industry to contribute their sales to the cause. This year’s event will be on September 28.
In 2017, SpecialEffect raised $621,777 thanks in part due to publishers and developers who pledged to have 100 percent of their sales during One Special Day to go to the charity. It has confirmed that companies like Double Fine, Humble Bundle, Rovio, Sega, and Seriously are participating.
“The income will have a huge impact,” said SpecialEffect founder and CEO Mick Donegan in a statement. “It will not only fund our one-to-one work with people with disabilities, but also our research and partnership work with developers and manufacturers, making more projects like our free eye-controlled Minecraft software possible and ensuring we can have a continuing global impact on video games accessibility.”
SpecialEffect works to make it easier for folks who have disabilities to play games. It commissions custom controllers for people who have trouble using a standard gamepad like the PlayStation 4 DualShock, incorporating features like voice control or eye-tracking. It also employs a clinical staff that includes an occupational therapist.
In the wider tech industry, companies are becoming more aware of accessibility issues, incorporating features that might make it easier for those with disabilities to use their services. Along with SpecialEffect in the U.K., AbleGamers in the U.S. is another charity that also focuses on raising funds as well as providing opportunities, like sponsoring developers with disabilities to attend Train Jam and the Game Developers Conference. Other nonprofits seek to bring games to kids in hospitals, like Child’s Play and GameChanger Charity.
On the hardware side, Tobii’s eye-tracking technology makes it possible for folks to play without using traditional gamepads. And Microsoft is also launching its Xbox Adaptive Controller in September, which is designed with accessibility at its core. You may even open its packaging with your mouth.