The gamers’ charity SpecialEffect today launches its fifth annual One Special Day fundraiser and, in the wake of the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, is joined by some of the biggest names in the gaming world in what is set to be the most important event of its kind in the charity’s history.

Over 40 key players from the mobile, PC and console gaming arenas, including SEGA, Seriously, Rare, EA DICE,  Jagex, Space Ape Games, Kwalee and Hello Games have already committed their support to the fundraising event and will either donate UK revenue on Friday 2nd October, make company donations, stage virtual events or engage in a range of other activities to raise money.

Whilst SpecialEffect’s income throughout the lockdown has fallen sharply, demand for their assessment and support services is as high as ever. With many disabled people locked down at home with family, finding a way to play videogames is all the more important to them and they’ve turned to SpecialEffect for help. As a result, the charity’s Service Delivery Team has adapted the way they usually work and have been carrying out online assessments and support since March.

The team at SpecialEffect have worked throughout the pandemic across all areas and continue to have a huge, positive impact on the lives of disabled gamers across the world. Collaborating with hardware companies and games developers, the charity has played a significant role in the development of the Xbox Adaptive Controller and the Logitech Adaptive Switch Kit as well as helping to make games like Forza, FIFA and Sea of Thieves more accessible. And, through their hugely popular GamesAccess website, SpecialEffect continues to deliver accessibility and training resources for thousands of disabled gamers and the global games industry.

Following the huge success of their EyeMine interface, which enables severely disabled people to play Minecraft using eye movement alone, SpecialEffect will soon be launching the eagerly awaited Eye Gaze Games. This suite of free-to-play, browser-based gaze-controlled games will enable players to compete on a level playing field against anyone, anywhere in the world.

Seriously’s CEO and Co-Founder and SpecialEffect Vice President Andrew Stalbow said:

“It’s been a fantastic experience working with SpecialEffect for the One Special Day campaigns since 2016, and we are working hard to make this year’s fifth anniversary event the biggest and best yet. It’s been really gratifying to see the mobile community come together to support this work, and we are hoping to have a record number of developers join us this year to enable SpecialEffect to keep helping the growing number of people who need them.”

Despite the significant financial loss for this year the Founder and CEO of SpecialEffect, Mick Donegan, is positive about the future:

“Like many charities, the lost income from events cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak is a huge setback for us. However, the need for our advice and support not only by individuals with disabilities but by the games industry as a whole is as great as ever. As a result, the support we receive from this year’s One Special Day is more important than ever before.”

And Craig Duncan, Studio Head at Rare Ltd said:

“Due to their unique work, SpecialEffect hold a special place in our hearts here at RARE, and indeed across the whole of the video games industry, so we’re looking forward to once again being part of One Special Day once again this year to help Dr Mick and the team help more people who need their specialist support.”

Written by
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