Morse Code

Morse code fascinates me, probably from a mix of a love for early electronic music and one-switch anything. It used to be a fairly established way of typing for one-switch users, and speeds of 20 words per minute or more are possible. I wonder what speeds are possible now with predictive text.

The top three videos link to war, but Morse code had far more altruistic origins. To simply bridge great distances so people could communicate with one another in a shared language.  Some more links here: Morse translator and trainer, Morse Training by the Koch method,  Raspberry Pi Project and a fairly bad three stooges joke.

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Remote Control Truggy controlled with a SEGA Master System stick

This Truggy was a recent adaptation for a friend. A D9 standard port was added to the standard Remote Control hand-set. Supplied was a SEGA Master System stick to drive the car. All controls were digital originally, so no control is lost using the digital joystick.

UPDATE: Great links here to people who've done this mod before me: RNT (Thierry Danigo) and in this post: Un Noel adapte pour Hanna.

Black and Green 4x4 Remote Control Truggy

Large SEGA Master System controller used on a Truggy Remote Controller.


Switch 'N' Shoot (PC)

Switch N Shoot - space ship thrusting towards a space monster.

Switch 'N' Shoot, is a hectic early 80s style shoot-em-up, with a single button needed to start, play and restart the game. Available on Steam for £1.99, this is a cracking game for people with fast reactions. Hopes for an accessibility fix in the future for easier play. Keep an eye on this blog (subscribe using this link) for news on this. Hoping....

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SMA-UK Christmas Accessible Gaming

Photo of Mario Kart 8, Flower, Neck N Neck and Alto's Adventure.

Photo of Mario Kart 8, Flower, Neck N Neck and Alto's Adventure.

Looking forward to running the gaming area representing SpecialEffect at the SMA-UK South Christmas support party this Sunday. The test set-up above covers:

  • Mario Kart 8 (Wii-U) for one or two players, using a light weight PS3 controller with the sensitivity cranked up (and menu button disabled).
  • Flower (PS3) using an arcade stick in six-axis emulation mode with large button. Normally not possible to play with a stick.
  • Neck N Neck (Raspberry Pi) horse racing game for up to six players. Choice of switches including light pressure finger switches.
  • Altos Adventure / Soccer Physics / Mole Hammers (iPad) with Guided Access (to keep the players within the apps) and Hold at Point switch mode for one or two players.
  • Various Games (Wii - not pictured) with light-weight Wii controller.
1D Pong coming along as a back-up (was great last year). Hoping the games are enjoyed.


Ultra-Stick accessible gaming rig in Sweden

Twin screens, keyboard, trackball, ultra-stick with 8 push buttons.

Twin screens, keyboard, trackball, ultra-stick with 8 push buttons.

The meaty accessible gaming rig above is a work in progress by Markus Hansson in Sweden using one of my Ultra-stiks with 8 switch sockets. Alongside this is a mix of other controls that all act as the single player input.

Recently I've boosted the power of an Ultra-stik so that it is possible to use it with a single button to give basic access to most of the controls on a PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 or Xbox One. That includes some six-axis and touch-pad compatibility too. It's possible to use on a PC, Raspberry Pi and Wii-U too. More to follow.

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Scope Accessible Gaming Q and A

Scope About disability. White text on purple background.

I really should have posted this a week ago, however, better late than never. The UK charity Scope asked me if I'd do a Questions and Answers session on their community forums as part of a push on game accessibility. The results of this and more can be perused below:

Accessible gaming Q&A

Blog post: Making Play Possible

Gaming for Veterans

Are you a gamer? Would you like to be?


One Handed Controller Kit

Image of Titan One and Navigation Controller for one-handed video game play. Accessible gaming.

Soon to be added to the Accessible Gaming Shop, and available now is the new One Handed Controller Kit.

This is a one-handed controller that is wireless and will work on Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and Raspberry Pie (RetroPie). It can also work on the Xbox 360, Wii-U and PC with additional adapters or tweaking.

It contains a range of special features including a quick way to change the stick function, six-axis (partial) emulation, touch-pad button for PS4, driving modes, FPS / Walking simulator modes and lots more.

Price will be £120 plus postage.

Instructions here.

Image of a PS3 Navigation controller, Wireless adapter and Titan One. Designed for disabled amputee gamers to help play on Xbox, Playstation, RetroPie, Wii-U and PC.

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Virtual Reality: Inaccessible Reality?

Virtual Reality has long promised so much. It seems to be getting closer now to delivering upon this. And yet, when I hear people like Google getting all buzzy, it puts me in mind of Liz Carr's "Inaccessibility Simulator" post years back on the BBC Ouch! web-site. I'm excited about VR, but there's far too little thought for access it feels like.

Just take a look at how precise that Google Daydream View VR controller must be to use. How many people are being cut out of VR with the current line up and thinking? I saw more strides for accessibility in VR back in 2000 than I'm seeing now (I'm thinking back to Mencap's Enter 2000 VR event). And certainly Myron Kreuger's pioneering Artificial Reality visions were far more inclusive, dating back to 1969. Google, Sony, Hive and others need to wake up a little bit.

My friend Ian Hamilton has recently posted a very thought provoking article on Virtual Reality and accessibility at Gamasutra. Hugely recommend that VR developers and designers read it and soak it up. Why prevent people from being able to experience VR unnecessarily? 

Image of two people within standing pods, with Virtuality head-sets. A 4 by 3 C.R.T. TV sits between them on castors.

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GAConf 2017

White on black icon, of the Game Accessibility Information symbol, of a gamepad rider, over the text, hash-tag, g.a. conf.

A day of talks and networking exploring recent and future advancements in the field of game accessibility. Updates, case studies, and in-depth guides. All sorts.

Who might find interesting?: Anybody, Everybody
What's it about?: #GAConf - A new one day game accessibility conference featuring updates, case studies, and in-depth guides
When is it?: 27th of February, 2017
Where is it?: Mission Bay Conference Center, San Francisco, CA, North America.

Covering a wide range of topics, such as accessibility as a micro-indie, designing for older gamers, and the challenges of retrofitting accessibility into a live product. Speakers list here and more information at




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