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Disabled gamers get place to play

Help for the handicapped

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A charity that helps the handicapped play videogames has now opened a centre for them to test gaming gear and get advise from specialists.

SpecialEffect has run a game lending library since 2008, sending out equipment to help those with disabilities continue to play games following life-altering injuries.

The new centre opened this week in Witney, Oxfordshire and hopes to further the work of the charity with a place for people to drop-in and see how SpecialEffect's tech can help them.

Those with cerebral palsy can try eye-controllers, for example, making music simply by looking at notes on the screen. Lenovo recently debuted eye-controlled laptops too, and is working on bringing similar tech to a consumer market.

SpecialEffect Director Dr Mick Donegan said: “SpecialEffect 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.”

Perhaps it will open the door for more enthusiasts - like Gareth Garrett, the man who plays games with his chin - to get gaming again. ®

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