NEWS UPDATES ON ALL THAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO OVER THE PAST FEW MONTHS!
Thank you for your patience – the past couple of months have been very busy for us here at Warfighter Engaged. Please check out the details for some of the events and projects we have been involved in recently below!
Game Accessibility Conference and Gaming and Disability Community Reception:
This past March, 2018, the Game Accessibility Conference was held in San Francisco, CA! Our Chief Medical Officer, Erik Johnson OTR/L and Clinical Outreach Coordinator Kaitlyn Jones were in attendance and spent the day learning from game developers, accessibility experts and gamers with disabilities about the importance of accessibility in game creation and implementation.
It was incredibly powerful hearing the journey and experiences with game accessibility from both the creators and the users. Erik and Kaitlyn had an awesome time talking with some of the individual speakers and are excited to take all of the insights they have gained through their GAConf experience to inform the work that Warfighter Engaged continues to do in the realm of accessible gaming!
While out in San Francisco, Erik and Kaitlyn also attended the Xbox Gaming and Disability Community Reception! Here they met Phil Spencer, the Vice President of Gaming at Xbox and were able to briefly speak with him about accessible gaming, the Warfighter Engaged mission and gaming in the occupational therapy profession!
Erik and Kaitlyn’s meeting with Phil was even featured in a recent issue of OT Practice Magazine!
While at the Gaming and Disability Community Reception, Erik did a series of interviews with some of the attendees who are avid gamers and advocates for accessibility. Stayed tuned for the release of our interview videos!
AOTA National Conference!
This past April, Warfighter Engaged hosted a booth in the exhibit hall of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. There were many conference attendees who took interest in the work that Warfighter Engaged has been doing, including our new Switch Initiative that was featured at the conference! The custom universal switch initiative was started after our clinical outreach coordinator, Kaitlyn Jones, realized there was a strong need for Warfighter’s custom adapted hardware beyond gaming – and should extend to providing accessible solutions for all technologies including IPads, iPhones and communication devices. Given the high costs of mass manufactured universal switch buttons that on average can cost anywhere from $100-$500, yet are often deemed as actually being “inaccessible” for usersdue to their lack of customization, many occupational therapists must resort to using duct tape or other faulty means of mounting switches in places that they can be accessed because they are simply not created with accessibility for the specific user in mind. Warfighter Engaged posed the following question to all occupational therapists at the conference: Do you have a specific patient or patients that are in need of a CUSTOM switch that was created for that user in mind, not the general audience, and can be bought at a reasonable cost? Contact us – as always, we can help!
Warfighter Engaged was also involved in the “OT Arcade” interactive presentation at the conference. During this session, attendees were able to travel from table to table and learn about various organizations that are committed to providing accessible solutions to gamers with disabilities. Other organizations featured during this event included Microsoft and Gamers Outreach. The occupational therapists and students had an amazing time learning about the importance of gaming from a therapeutic perspective and being able to put their hands on some of the equipment that Warfighter and other organizations have created that can be used in their practice in order to help their patients and clients game (a VERY meaningful occupation to many according to the attendees ;) )
Check out this video of our experience at the OT Arcade!
Xbox Adaptive Controller Press Release Event !
We are so excited to FINALLY be able to share with everyone our involvement in the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Our Social Media Coordinator, Mike Luckett who has been heavily involved in the development and testing of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Erik, and Kaitlyn were all fortunate enough to attend the press release event for this product and discuss the dreams and visions set forth by founder Ken Jones, in helping to conceptualize the idea and bring it to life based on his years of experiences creating custom hardware for severely wounded veterans. The three team members were interviewed by a variety of news outlets and even got to meet Phil Spencer once again! Check out some of the articles we were featured in below!
Here are a few of the many articles we have been featured in! :
Currently, our Clinical Outreach Coordinator, Kaitlyn is performing her very last occupational therapy rotation under the supervision of our own Chief Medical Officer, Erik Johnson! Over the course of the next couple of months, Kaitlyn and Erik will be creating a series of “how to” videos and blog posts that will teach therapists and caregivers the potentials of the Xbox Adaptive Controller. Kaitlyn and Erik will discuss ideas for custom set-up designs, suggestions for external switch plug-ins and overall button placements in order to help users find success and access depending on a specific diagnosis, level of function, or disability. Further, they will delve into the therapeutic implications and benefits that the Xbox Adaptive Controller will provide to the occupational therapy profession through its implementation in the clinic. This educational series will teach therapists and students how to effectively implement the Xbox Adaptive Controller into their clinic and use its inherent versatile and customizable components in order to motivate clients and grade game play activities in order to produce the most effective therapeutic outcomes! Stay tuned, there are MANY exciting things on the way!
- Written by Kaitlyn S. Jones