Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana is one of the first affiliates to join ES Gaming, a nationwide Easterseals initiative creating a new standard for equity, inclusion and access among all disabled gamers, while amplifying disabled voices and accessible innovations.
As part of the ES Gaming initiative, Easterseals Arc is working with Trine University to launch its esports team, starting with participants at Easterseals RISE in Angola then expanding to Fort Wayne and beyond. The initiative’s potential for delivering exciting new opportunities for people with disabilities has already garnered financial support from The James Foundation and The Surack Family Foundation.
More than 60 percent of young adults (ages 18 to 29) play video games, and one-in-five gamers has a disability. This creates a need for an inclusive community that is welcoming and accessible.
The esports team will provide opportunities for individuals to connect with other players and improve skills in leadership, communication, critical thinking, team building, cognitive acuity, and technical abilities. In addition to competitive teams, epsorts clubs at Easterseals Arc, Easterseals Passages, Easterseals RISE and Cardinal Services will offer opportunities for consumers to connect, learn and play in a more casual environment.
“Through the power of gaming, ES Gaming is breaking down social barriers and creating a community that celebrates inclusivity, where players of all abilities can come together and connect,” said Paige Hart, esports coach.
ES Gaming sets itself apart from other esports programs by focusing on gamers with disabilities and creating an inclusive space. It will elevate gamers with different disabilities and share how they play, including discussion about assistive technology, game options and software. Livestreams and other gaming events will create new awareness and fundraising opportunities.
If you want to learn more about ES Gaming, check out the Game4Access Twitch channel, which features disabled gamers playing their favorite titles with a live chat to connect with others while watching, or join the ES Gaming community on Discord. ES Gaming social media also offer gaming clips and information about accessibility and the gaming community.