A former IT teacher and head of the Digital Jersey Academy, Rory Steel, designed a custom-made Nintendo controller for his nine-year-old disabled daughter, Ava.
Ava suffers from hereditary spastic paraplegia, a disability that makes her unable to use ‘game controllers’, as motor controls and speech are affected. Despite this, Ava is an enthusiastic player and loves to play games.
Her dad has come to her respite, building a custom-made Nintendo controller using £110 (approx. Rs 10,000) of spare parts purchased from eBay. Rory has also posted a video of Ava playing the Zelda game using her new controller for the first time. The video, which had the baby girl laughing and smiling, has attracted thousands of views on Twitter.
Rory posted the video with the caption, “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”
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
Responding to a tweet by LadBible, he said that he is “going to follow this up with a how-to set of videos for those across the water that want to make their own.”
No worries, go ahead, I am going to follow this up with a how to set of videos for those across the water that want to make their own.— Rory Steel (@JerseyITGuy) January 20, 2020
He has received a lot of appreciation for his efforts from the internet.
Outstanding #dadding @Microsoft @Xbox team knocked it out if the park with that controller platform. They did it knowing they wouldn't make money. Gaming is for everyone.— Brett Ruth (@ITMasterJediDad) January 19, 2020
Hey Rory, I discovered your story online. This is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. As a father myself, as a part of the Breath of the Wild Voice cast, I’d love to do something nice for your daughter. Please DM me and hopefully we can put something together.— Joe Hernandez (@JoeHernandezVO) January 20, 2020
Love seeing more customized and adaptable controller tech!Do you ever work on (or with folks who work on) accessibility and adaptive interfaces for AI?Would love to chat— it's B! Cavello 🐝 (@b_cavello) January 19, 2020