Most parents are worried that their kids spend too much time gaming. But Rory Steel saw that his daughter, who has hereditary spastic paraplegia, was having difficulty playing—and he designed an adaptive Nintendo Switch controller specifically tailored to her disability.
Finished! Ava gives my homemade #accessibility controller V1.0 the thumbs up. She can play @Nintendo #BreathoftheWild on her #switch like her friends now. All thanks to @Microsoft 🙌 #adaptiveController #XAC @brycej @ArranDyslexia @shanselman pic.twitter.com/dOhGnUFZa0— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
9-year-old Ava’s disability affects her controlled motor function and speech, which makes it difficult for her to play video games the way her friends do. Steel, who has always been a “tinkerer,” made the custom controller with parts he purchased off of eBay. The controller, which is very cool and vintage looking, has dual joysticks and multiple buttons Ava can easily access.
Steel shared a video of Ava playing “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on Twitter, and it has since been viewed more than one million times.
Steel’s creation got some feedback from the founder of Microsoft’s Inclusive Tech Lab, Bryce Johnson. Johnson was the inventor of the adaptive Xbox controller used in Steel’s controller.
Steel also praised gaming companies for creating products “to the world without boundaries.”
So rare in this day and age to see a big corporations release this type gold to the world without boundaries. Love #Halo love #Zelda and love my #PSVR. Now so will my daughter and son thanks to @microsoft #XAC
— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 19, 2020
Every kid should be able to enjoy playing video games, no matter their disability. And once Steel feels his controller is fully complete, he is planning to post DIY instructions for how to assemble one so every kid with a disability can play “The Legend of Zelda” or whatever game they want. Dad of the Year, am I right?