Adaptive Video Gaming at Helen Hayes Hospital


I’m Peter Gagliardo, and I’m the
adaptive sports coordinator here at Helen Hayes Hospital. One of my biggest
passions in life is playing video games, so when I saw that the hospital had video
game systems set up behind me, I knew I wanted to make it as accessible as
possible, and with the help from AbleGamers and their donations we’ve
been able to get people like Rondell playing video games again, who’s a
quadriplegic playing with the Microsoft adaptive controller. The Microsoft
adaptive controller allows us to hook up buttons that you wouldn’t typically find
on your standard Xbox 360 controller. If you have limited hand functions or no
hand function you might not be able to operate this. By using the controller
over here, we can plug in buddy buttons, which are accessible buttons and attach
them to things like goosenecks. We can also use standard joysticks to
replace the analog sticks so we can find any bit of movement that somebody has
and we can turn it into a functional button press which allows them to play
the video games. If you come around the side here, we took the accessible buttons
and we added them to a gooseneck system. At home you know having maybe two tables
like this and creating a U system will allow you to add more gooseneck so you’d
have more spots to connect them, or depending on your chair and your system
you can maybe always hook them to the back of your wheelchair. The one benefit
though of having a table system is you don’t have to constantly connect them
and disconnect them you can be set up and and roll straight in ready to play
whenever you want. So with the goosenecks here you can see, with very little
movement on both sides of his head, he likes the gap here, we can bring this in
as close as we want so you don’t have to move very much to get the buttons and
you don’t need your fingertips. So moving just very little bit with your elbow
function or you know for other people maybe a little bit out flex of the knee
back in the head there’s a lot of options once you use goosenecks
and accessible buttons. So the way this is set, up the left side of his head
is to pass the ball, the right side of his head is to shoot the ball, and the
buttons have multi functions. So the right side of his head is also steal
when he’s on defense, and his elbow buttons also block when
he’s on defense. This way you know we try to use as many buttons repeated
as possible because it’s hard to find enough spots to to hook up equipment. But
as you can see, you know, more goosenecks you add, the more function you can add,
You know we can add stuff to this elbow, we can add stuff maybe to the back of
his head so as games get more complicated and elaborate we can find
positions for the buttons because laying them out in front of you is not always
the best course of action, because maybe reaching or having to press two buttons
in rapid succession when you can have everything really close to your tight
movements it really allows you to to play without much barrier. So, Rondell
after playing video games here for the last couple weeks how do you feel? Rondell: Great. Peter: How did you think the ease of operation was not using your hands the way you
normally would to play? Rondell: It felt good. Before, before I thought it was over
for me. I wouldn’t be able to play games, I wouldn’t be able to do this till I met Pete
and be brung me down here and it’s been great. As you can see I won by 30
points. Pete: He’s crushing it, he’s crushing it. So using your head and your elbow using the
function that you do have, it still felt fast and snapping, you felt like you were
playing like it was no different really right? Rondell: I felt like I was playing a
controller button, you know everything is closer. You get to adjust everything how
you want, it felt great. Pete: Beautiful, awesome. Rondell: Like I had a controller in my hand. Pete: Beautiful Rondel, pleasure buddy, pleasure.

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