Everyone Can – A charity that makes gaming accessible for all
Everyone Can is a charity based in the UK who help people with disabilities to be independent and able to access gaming through the use of technology. They offer assessments in order to provide practical solutions that can improve lives and they also host gaming sessions. Assessments are carried out by fully trained assessors with lots of experience who aim to make the disabled individual feel as comfortable as possible as well as ensuring that all of the service user’s needs are accounted for.
Assistive Technology is the term given to any technology which can assist or help a disabled person with their everyday tasks and challenges. For example, it can involve downloading some software that can control the light switches or home alarm system, a programme that can assist with speech, a piece of hardware that will make controlling a computer easier.
I have been lucky enough to volunteer at Everyone Can during a few of the gaming sessions and it has been incredible to see how happy and inclusive the atmosphere is. The staff and volunteers aim to ensure that everyone has access to video games and that the latest assistive technology is available to support this. For example, their use of Virtual Reality technology allows some people to have experiences such as riding a rollercoaster that they might not be able to do in their every day lives due to their disability. Not only does Everyone Can have its gaming centre where people can attend weekly gaming sessions but they also provide a smaller Game outreach service for those who are not able to travel to their centre. These gaming sessions offer people with disabilities the chance to access technology to play games that they may not be able to play otherwise and have a fun social experience with others.
Everyone Can ensure they do their best to include anybody who uses their service, no matter the disability. An example of this is the story of Leigh’s family. Leigh has four boys and three of them have different disabilities but all four children enjoy their gaming sessions at Everyone Can. Here is a video of Leigh discussing their experiences –https://www.everyonecan.org.uk/story/the-buckleys/.
How can you support them? Their annual 24 hour fundraising event, Game Together, takes place on 10am Saturday 26th September – 10am Sunday 27th September. You can join in wherever you are by hosting your own stream! Everyone Can don’t expect you to stream for the whole 24 hours but any contribution at all would be so helpful for them. They can provide a pack that includes Twitch overlays, logos, photos and videos. I took part at the centre last time and my face genuinely ached from laughing with everyone taking part!
You can also donate and support the Everyone Can stream over the weekend. The staff will be gaming for 24 hours and they would appreciate any support to help motivate them. You can check out their stream over the Game Together weekend at twitch.tv/everyonecanuk
If you are interested in joining in please visit their super cute website at: http://gametogether.everyonecan.org.uk