Graphic showing four circles representing the four resources. The first circle is highlighted indicating this is the first resource.


Gaming has been exploding in popularity over the last decade. With more people being interested in gaming and with gaming assistive tech becoming available, Makers Making Change has created a series of resources to help people interested in starting their journey in adaptive gaming. Clinicians looking to use adaptive gaming in their practices will also find this resource informative. Other fantastic organizations AbleGamers and SpecialEffect are frequently linked throughout the resources as they are another great place to look for adaptive gaming information. The other three adaptive gaming resources in this series can be found at the following links:

  1. Introduction to Adaptive Gaming (you are here)
  2. Assistive Technology in Gaming
  3. Accessibility in Video Games and Gaming Goals
  4. Adaptive Gaming Demos and Recommendations

Why Adaptive Gaming?

Gaming is a wide, inclusive, continuously developing community that provides the opportunity to meet new people and have unique experiences. People living with disabilities report significantly higher rates of social isolation. Utilizing gaming in anyone’s personal life can open possibilities for greater connection. It is not required to play games with others to make this connection either; even enjoying one specific game or genre can result in getting involved with a supportive fanbase. Gaming setups that require specialized devices or customization can be very cost effective when open source assistive technology (AT) is utilized. Gaming is for everyone, no matter who you are or how you game. Whether you are new to the space or a returning gamer whose gaming may need some adaptations to effectively game, there are solutions available.

Adaptive gaming is also a very powerful tool in rehabilitation. Gamifying switch access, voice controls, or any other tool that can be used for access can result in much higher acceptance rates of the technology. Adaptive gaming can also provide independence when accessing digital platforms. The Craig Hospital is a leader in using games in rehabilitation settings for gamers with physical and or cognitive disabilities to benefit things such as motor control, balance, attention, pain management, and more.

Check out the power of adaptive gaming in the following video:

How to Use This Resource

We have created a simple flow chart to capture the goals of this resource. This resource can be used in any way you want, but if you are new to adaptive gaming and video games, we recommend reading and understanding the content with this method. This resource aims to give you all the background information needed on both gaming and assistive technology to assist you in creating gaming goals and identifying the options for your gaming.

Flow chart showing intro to adaptive gaming at the start (you are here now). In order, the resource path follows: AT in gaming overview, Intro to video game accessibility, gaming goals/strategies for new gamers. Then the bottom half is a array of different assitive technology options from switch access, software, and modified controllers

Overview of Resources

Below is a brief overview of what will be included in each of the three other resources.

Want to Learn About Assistive Tech in Gaming?

One of the four resources, “Assistive Technology in Gaming,” details the types of technology that can make gaming more accessible. Please visit that resource for more information.

Assistive Technology devices and equipment increase the ability of an individual living with disabilities to perform the tasks they want. Assistive technology is used to create more accessible gaming setups by modifying or adding devices for alternative input. Makers Making Change specializes in open source assistive technology that can be requested by users and built by volunteer makers. This significantly lowers the cost of assistive technology and makes gaming setups more accessible. Visit Makers Making Changes assistive technology library to request devices; if you are looking for gaming specific devices, sort by the “gaming” category. If you do not find something that suits your needs, you can also submit an idea for a volunteer maker to build. We have created an explainer video to detail the process of requesting assistive technology.

Want to Learn More About Accessibility in Gaming?

Video games can be intimidating for someone who has never gamed before. Knowing what is out there in terms of categories, playstyles, and platforms is a crucial part of forming one’s comfort level with gaming. One of the four resources, “Introduction to Video Game Accessibility,” details the genres, types of input, and recommended games for adaptive gaming. This resource also includes a section on “Gaming Goals,” which is a self-assessment technique to identify which options are available for an individual gaming setup. Please visit that resource for more information. Accessibility in Video Games and Gaming Goals

Text saying "what type of gaming is good for me" with a red background and a graphic of a gaming controller and headset.

[1] – See Attribution

Recommended Strategies and Demos for New Gamers

One of the four resources, “Adaptive Gaming Demos and Recommendations” is focused on sharing common tips and tricks for adaptive gaming. This resource also features three unique gaming setups for mobile, PC, and console gaming using the free game Brawlhalla. These examples are intended to show the different possibilities when using open source assistive technology in gaming.

Two photos side by side showing two individuals playing games with assistive technology.

[1] – See Attribution

Useful Existing Resources

We have scoured the internet for resources on adaptive gaming. Some of the main resources for gamers living with disabilities can be found below. These resources focus on many different topics, from rating game accessibility to developing gaming relating assistive technology.

Resource Link Focus
  • Provide AT  and assessments for adaptive gaming
  •  Resources for adaptive gaming.
SpecialEffects – GameAccess
  • Article based
  • Case studies of setups
  • AT for gaming
SpecialEffects – DevKit
  • For game developers
  • How to develop games that improve accessibility
  • Article based game accessibility reviews
  • Help gamers know if a game will work for them before buying
Family Gaming Database
  • Article based game accessibility reviews
  • Categorized games based off of inputs
The Controller Project
  • Compiling controller modifications
Game Accessibility Nexus
  • Game accessibility reviews for hardware and software
  • Gives score for games
Craig Hospital
  • Collection of links to other resources
  • Game accessibility reviews
  • Game database that filters based on the needs of the gamer

Share Your Thoughts

If you are looking for more information or have feedback for these resources, please contact Makers Making Change at [email protected]

If you are struggling with a certain video game or gaming platform, we encourage you to reach out to that place’s support line to ask questions and give feedback on their devices. The gaming community benefits from hearing from a diverse group of gamers which can lead to developments in more accessible gaming.


[1] – These graphics were created using the help of icons from Canva