Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, (D) 19th Senate District in Brooklyn, presented a NYS Resolution to Steven Spohn, COO of AbleGamer Charity and Global Gaming Citizen, on World Global Accessibility Awareness Day, May 18, alongside New York Knicks Inaugural 2K league Gaming Champions, and Lead User Researcher, Jamaican American, Greg Haynes.
Persaud, during a gaming day initiative with the champions, and Brookdale University Hospital, where the game day was held, said her office likes to do things that are different, with the inclusion of everyone in her community.
As such, she chose to honor the AbleGamers Charity under the theme ‘Game Accessibility Means Equality’ for its steadfast commitment to the community, noting, too often, people with disabilities are frowned upon and not included in events.
“If you give people an opportunity, they are able,” said the politician, who praised the AbleGamers Charity for their work, noting that her office reached out to schools and other organizations that host developmentally disabled and physically disabled events to include them in the initiative.
With millions of disability citizens excluded from participating in fun activities, Sen. Persaud believes video games are useful tools for disabled gamers to create rich social experiences they would not otherwise be able to have.
“Games are a way to explore and go on adventures without going anywhere. Video games also offer players the opportunity to be on an equal playing field, regardless of their disability,” said the politician.
Adding that new technological advancements allow people with disabilities to play video games like anyone else.
The day of gaming that had hands-on demonstrations of the technology, with experts who make dreams come true, headed by Greg Haynes, who bring awareness to AbleGamers, that has been in existence for 15 years.
The researcher, who was born and grew up, in Brooklyn, thanked Caribbean Life being a part of the Caribbean culture in Brooklyn, and for covering the game day to benefit disability gamers.
Haynes, and expert in research, noted that he has worked in the gaming industry with mega developers Sony and Microsoft, among others, that have helped the organization make games more accessible.
“We have helped a number of people with disabilities, get back into the game,” said Haynes.
He explained, that the charity’s main goal is helping players, who can’t play, get back to the gaming.
The X-box adaptor controller used by gamers was created by AbleGamers eight years ago, and developed with the help of Microsoft, said Haynes, adding that the handmade device cost $100 and was available online for purchase.
“The beautiful thing about gaming in 2019, is, that, it is enjoyed anywhere, there is a console, a personal computer, or mobile phone. These devices help many gamers at their homes with customized setups. However, there are also communities where people come together and game,” said Haynes.
He said the US is estimated to have 46 million players with disabilities who need customized settings, layout and controllers, anything that varies players’ normal gaming experience.
Knicks gaming champions, Kyle Rudy, Head Coach, Adam Kideimati, Harry Hurst, the only European player, Eric Ward, Idris Richardson, Malik Hobson, and Dayvon Curvy, all agree that it was an exciting experience to partner with Senator Persaud, adding that their attendance at events such as the Game Day, helps to bring about awareness of AbleGamers Charity, and bring them a sense of pride to help the disability community enjoy gaming.