UK's first 'accessible videogames centre' for the disabled opens

David Cameron is all for accessible gaming
David Cameron is all for accessible gaming

Today saw the opening of the UK's first accessible video games centre in West Oxfordshire, intended to give people with disabilities and serious illnesses easy access to videogame tech.

The centre was created by video games charity SpecialEffect, which develops specially made video gaming equipment for the differently abled by adapting and modifying existing technology.

Not only will people be able to visit the centre to use the equipment and get the most out of video gaming technology, SpecialEffect will also use it as a base for developing accessible gaming.

First of its kind

As SpecialEffect says on its website, "For young people with disabilities, the majority of computer games are simply too quick or too difficult to play."

The charity helps these young people and their parents find the games which they can play and adapt those games which they can't.

Explaining why the centre is so important, Dr Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect's Director, said, "The SpecialEffect Charity already helps a wide range of people with disabilities to discover how to use specialist technology through its website, roadshows, working with hospitals and home visits.

"The only thing missing was a central hub for people to visit. The new centre offers them the opportunity to arrange to try out a range of cutting edge games and leisure software and hardware, with the advice and support of specialist professionals."

D-Cam gets involved

Our illustrious Prime Minister David Cameron took a break from his busy budget-cutting schedule to open the centre which is based in his own constituency of Witney.

He said, "The work of SpecialEffect brings together three things that I am passionate about: helping those with disabilities, the innovative use of technology and corporate social responsibility.

"This new centre will enhance the quality of life for some of the most severely disabled people across the UK and I will continue to support SpecialEffect as their local MP.

"It's also good to see SpecialEffect working so closely with the UK's video games industry – it's a great example of how even a small input from business can help support the fantastic work that SpecialEffect do."

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.