What better way to make friends as a child in our modern world than over a video game session with friends? Not only are they having fun, they’re learning essential soft skills, improving communication and familiarising themselves with technology. Yet, for many children the ability to play these games is simply out of reach.
That’s where Everyone Can comes in. The Manchester-based charity helps disabled people to speak, live independently, to control their environment and to have fun. Its gaming centre opens up the world of gaming to children of all abilities, meaning siblings of mixed abilities can play together – often for the first time.
Earlier today a team of UKFasters headed to the Everyone Can Gaming Centre to help facilitate these sessions. Chatting with Julian, general manager at the centre, he told us about the impact that the sessions have on the lives of those who take part.
He told us of a family of four who were unable to play together because one of the children was unable to use the controller. With multiplayer games and a range of controller options at the centre, the four siblings were able to enjoy an afternoon of gaming, competing against each other for the first time.
Equally, Julian told us about children with autism who struggle to communicate participating in sessions, laughing with other young people and bursting to come back.
There are options for all children, with controllers used by eye movements or breath, as well as multiple virtual reality experiences. It’s a truly extraordinary space. And, as the team there say, if a person is able to play multiplayer games, they’re also able to check their emails or search the internet. This familiarity with technology and accessibility means that more people are able to embrace the opportunities presented by tech.
Team UKFast is incredibly proud to support such a worthwhile cause and we’ll keep you updated with our next gaming session and work with Everyone Can.