AbleGamers Foundation — the leading charity and organization wielding the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities — has partnered with Gamers Outreach — a charitable organization that provides gaming kiosks (GO Karts) to enable videogames to be brought to anyone anywhere in a hospital setting — to bring fun to children and adults by equipping select GO Karts (Gamers Outreach Karts) with AbleGamers Expansion Packs.
GO Karts are portable video game kiosks constructed specifically for the hospital environment. Each unit is equipped with a gaming console, games, monitor, controllers and occasionally VR devices. GO Karts are secure mobile entertainment units which allow hospital staff to easily provide children with access to recreation at the bedside environment or during long-term treatment.
AbleGamers’ Expansion Packs are customized packages of equipment provided to healthcare professionals which contain an assortment of assistive technology such as modified controllers and custom devices used to enable people with disabilities to play video games. AbleGamers also provides accessibility experts to install and maintain these Expansion Packs when introduced to patients and hospital faculty. First launched in early 2016, Expansion Packs have been donated to facilities with multiple special needs patients as a way to ensure gaming experiences are widely accessible regardless of the type of disability one may have.
Gamers Outreach plans to offer AbleGamers’ Expansion Packs as accessories to GO Karts, with the hope of expanding the variety of materials available to hospital staff who support patients with limited mobility. The partnership will kick off with a joint donation being made to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
“In the hospital environment, we support a wide array of patients, including children who have limited mobility,” said Zach Wigal, Founder of Gamers Outreach. “There’s an obvious synergy between our programs and the work of AbleGamers. The Expansion Packs equipped to our GO Karts will provide healthcare professionals with a diverse entertainment toolkit. Ultimately, we believe these devices will help ensure the joy of gaming is experienced by all patients, regardless of their circumstances.”
“The work we do to support people with disabilities is bigger than us,” said Steven Spohn, AbleGamers COO. “There are roughly 33 million children, adults and veterans with disabilities in America alone. Gamers Outreach has been a friend and ally since the creation of both organizations. It’s a natural fit, now that we both have generous supporters who believe in helping those in need, to come together and help even more people. Together, we will ensure that children inside the hospital and at home can enjoy a distraction from the sometimes scary hospital environment.”
The partnership between AbleGamers and Gamers Outreach will be celebrated from October 20 – 22 at TwitchCon 2017 through a joint exhibition between the two organizations. Streamers and gaming fans attending TwitchCon will have the chance to learn more about each group’s work and contribute to the cause.