Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Team Xbox celebrates Disability Pride Month

July is Disability Pride Month, and Team Xbox is looking to celebrate by highlighting gaming and disability stories from their community, sharing more about their Xbox adaptive controller, and spotlighting 3D-printed, accessible gaming peripherals.

In a blog post written by Brannon Zahand, Program Manager of Xbox’s Gaming Accessibility Team and Microsoft Gaming and Disability Community Member, Xbox proudly recognizes the worldwide contributions the gaming and stability community has made in making not just Xbox, but the gaming industry as a whole, a more inclusive and accessible place for everyone.

Zahand shared their own experience with being disabled, as well as a very important reminder: “If you aren’t already dealing with your own disabilities, chances are very good that someone close to you is. It’s estimated that at least 15% of the world’s population has some form of disability, and the vast majority of those are invisible.”

Team Xbox also shared the Gaming Accessibility Fundamentals, a completely free learning path about the importance of recognizing disabilities in the world. Xbox Ambassador’s also get access to the Accessibility Explorer Path, an experience that allows individuals to try out new gaming accessibility features across PC and console.

Xbox’s Gaming and Disability Community, such as MikeTheQuad, Queerlybee, Shawn Games, and DeafGamersTV spoke out about what Disability Pride Month means to them, and how gaming has enabled them to showcase their pride.

MikeTheQuad

“I showcase Disability Pride by living my life as a problem solver. Many people with disabilities have to adapt to their surroundings, because we live in an inaccessible world. I overcome these obstacles daily, not letting anything stop me from achieving my goals,” MikeTheQuad revealed.

“Disability Pride represents a time for the disabled community, which has historically been ostracized and shunned, to be visible and show that we can have pride in our identity and community. Oftentimes, abled people associate disability with a life that is lesser than or not worth living, saying things like “Oh I don’t know how you do that, I could never live like that,” but the reality is that we make the most out of our situation and you would too if you were in our shoes.” QueerlyBee said. “And it’s important to remember that disability is the only marginalized community that anyone could become a part of at any moment and when/if that happens to you, due to old age, injury, or sickness, you’ll be grateful for this community of support we’ve built that will help you when the government/society often fails to do so.”

Alongside its valuable members, Team Xbox revealed more about upcoming updates to help “empower games around the world to come together to play the games they want, with the people they want, on the devices they want.” One such update is the Xbox Adaptive Controller User Guide.

Part of Xbox’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller User Guide. Kaitlyn Jones, Program Manager, Xbox Gaming Accessibility and Bryce Johnson, Principal Inclusive Designer, Windows and Devices, share how to get started with the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

On June 28, the Xbox Adaptive Controller User Guide launched via support.xbox.com. The guide includes a range of instructional videos, resources, and links. The guide serves as a “one-stop-shop” in helping players with disabilities, as well as their family members and ultimately anyone else new to gaming or Xbox to discover and learn more about the Xbox Adaptive Controller.

Players can check out the full Xbox Adaptive Controller User Guides below:

Alongside the Adaptive Controller, there have been creators outside of Xbox who have put in the work to identify problems and design inventive solutions to help make gaming with Xbox’s controllers (including the adaptive controller) much more accessible. Especially for players with fine motor disabilities.

In order to celebrate the amount of work these makers have put in, Xbox are partnering up with  Adam Breece and Caleb Kraft, and others, to “curate a list of some of our favorite 3D-printed peripherals.” Xbox players with 3D printers who also want to try their hand at creating a design can find out more via support.xbox.com.

Last but not least, Xbox Brazil is supporting Disability Pride Month by releasing a glossary of gaming terms used by deaf and hard-of-hearing players. Teaming up with streamer, content creator and leading Brazilian figure in game accessibility, Jessyka “Suuhgetsu,”, the team created a glossary of gaming terms and expressions. The full glossary can be seen via Xbox Wire, and a Forza Horizon 5 video detailing all of the terms can be checked out over at Xbox Brazil’s official YouTube channel.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.