Rackety's Clothing for Kids

People looking for pro-disability clothing for kids could do worse than visit Rackety's web-site. I'm not overly fond of the term 'special' but beyond my hang-ups - there's some useful stuff here.

Mind, you, why not make your own from the comfort of your home using CafePress (US) or TshirtStudio.com (UK)?



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Wizzybug - kids wheelchair

Naidex has just come and gone in the UK the where much of the broad accessibility trade show off their wares. I didn't go this year, but via the BBC, I have been particularly impressed with the Bath Institute for Medical Engineering's (BIME) new electric wheelchair for kids as pictured above (and video link here).

Puts me in mind of MERU's BUGZI, but this one is suitable for outdoors. What essential fun for many disabled kids. Both added to my links page.

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Switch Accessible Pinball

Switch Adapted Pinball
I've covered U CAN DO's switch adapted pinball tables before, but I don't mind re-covering a great story. NorthJersey.com have a great news piece on-line with a very clear video that's worth a look too. Interesting that STERN are adapting these machines directly for U CAN DO. That's good.

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Game Accessibility - Why Bother?


Read a hugely compelling article on why game developers should bother to make their games more accessible at Gamasutra by Dr. Dimitris Grammenos. Perhaps this will be preaching to the converted here - but can you point anyone or company to it you know who isn't? Are Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, EA, Capcom and on and on listening?

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Experimental Audio Games 2007


"Visit the Experimental Audio Games Section of AudioGames.net and play not one, not two, not six but twelve new Experimental Audio Games developed by 29 Game Design students of the Utrecht School of the Arts!
These audio games are the result of an assignment within a Game Audio Design seminar. The students are all looking forward to hear your feedback, so please tell them what you think of their games in the Experimental Audio Games Forum."

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The First 18 Rated One-Switch Game - Scarface

BBFC 18 Certificate logo
Leading on from the previous post, comes "Scarface" - possibly the first 18 rated one-switch game. Press the SPACE BAR when you hear the F-word. Not one for the kids then...

Alternatively, "Big Cahuna" is an (almost) one switch game of fishing that is more of a U-rated game.

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Switch Adapted R/C Cars - back in stock

Hitari Tumbler switch adapted Radio Controlled Car - side profile view.
Happily, switch adapted Hitari Tumbler's are back in stock in the OneSwitch shop. The downside is a 100% increase in price, which is unavoidable: I'm now having to buy brand new Tumbler's with a retro-fit kit to enable these to work with old-style two button controllers. It's with massive thanks to Fowler Electronics that I'm able to do this at all.
This said, the cars are such brilliant manic fun, that I think they are still well worth the price.

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Who Is It?

What a wonderful artist Bjork is.

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All Is Full Of Love

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Game Over! - Universally Inaccessible Game

Game Over! Because No One Can Save The Universe - image of an alien in a flying saucer.
Game Over! Because No One Can Save The Universe!
"Game Over!" is the world's first (and hopefully only) universally inaccessible game. This practically means that it is a game that can be played by no one. But why was such a game created? Well, the goal of Game Over! is to be used as an educational tool for disseminating, understanding and consolidating game accessibility guidelines.

There are 20 guidelines included, of which it would be wonderful to see mainstream developers take heed of. Even if it was only for them to include fully reconfigurable controls and wide difficulty options - that would at least be a start! There will be an anti-dote to "Game Over!" released at the end of this month, titled "Terrestial Invaders".

Join the campaign for accessible games at the IGDA's Game Accessibility Special Interest Group here.

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Wheelchair Simulator Software


I've found a free download wheelchair trainer here: ORI Applied Computer Simulation Lab's Wheelchair Mobility Training. It's a big download, but a fine piece of software.
I'm not sure how active this project is now, as the forum and on-line multiple-player drive mode seem to be down. However, you can still use this as a lone user. I can see this being very useful for some out there. Good stuff.
Connect any Joystick to this software using JoyToKey.

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Mushihime-Tama PCB

Mushihime tama - Insect Princess from CAVE
After searching for a while, I've finally found and bought a JAMMA PCB of Cave's 'Mushihime Tama' from Excellent Com Ltd. in Hong Kong.
My daughter's first comments were "why has she got such big boobs?" - which is a good question. I don't know. However, this game can be played pretty much throughout with a single switch (down) apart from starting the game, and entering a high-score name. It's more difficult than Uo Poko, featuring some really tricky puzzles, and I like it for that personally. It also has a choice of two, two-player modes - collaborative and head-to-head. It's fun.
I may look at selling JAMMA rigs for switch use if anyone is interested. I'll also be showing some of this technology and more at the TechnoTalk Day in Kent later this year.

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AbilityNet YouTube Channel



AbilityNet have their own YouTube channel, which includes some fascinating accessible IT videos from which the above was cribbed.

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Head Tracker Games

Smart Nav Head Tracker from Natural Point.
For those that don't know, Game-Accessibility.com have a useful Forum detailing various free games playable with a head-tracker alone.
Alongside this, Natural Point who manufacture some excellent head trackers, have their own head-tracker accessible gaming page, that's well worth a bookmark.

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Run Rabbit Run! 3D

Run Rabbit Run! 3D screenshotXSIST games have just released a one-switch shareware update of their 2D platform game Run Rabbit Run! It's quite a bit easier than the 2D version I think, so will suit some gamers more this time around. Lovely job.

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Free Single Switch Media Player

One-switch accessible media player.
...a potentially very useful media player for single switch users. The Single Switch Media Player includes a variety of ways for switch users to play/pause music and videos.

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Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs

Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs is the most impressive blog I have seen in a very long time. So many fantastic resources and ideas can be found by browsing through the blog archives. I'll definitely by pinching some of their finds in the following months. Starting with...

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Chirality

Chirality - abstract manic vector based game.
"Chirality is a one-switch game of reflexes and perception. Watch for matches among the symbols as they rotate left and right, all the while getting faster as your score climbs higher. Three different difficulty levels allow you to play at your own pace, but the challenge is everpresent".
I like this game - it's simple, but has a compulsive hectic nature, much improved by a very fine sound track. This isn't the finished version, with some accessibility tweaks to be added (hopefully).

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UEA-life - one-handed PS2 controller review

UEA-life.com - "Committed to bringing information and inspiration, along with life experiences to upper extremity amputees, their family and friends", have just published their latest e-zine. This includes a review of a HORI Separate Controller, and the second part of my "Physical Barriers in Video Games" article in pdf format.

Dave Hersher, the brains behind UEA-life has turned up a very useful link in his gaming research: GameFly.com. This company has freely available instructions for many games for people to view, and work out how complicated the controls are to play. For more, read the ezine here.

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