For Immediate Release
There’s a New Player in Town! Easterseals Launches ES Gaming Dec. 3rd
National Game4Access Streamathon Fundraiser on Twitch Highlights Inclusive, Accessible Gaming on International Day of Persons with Disabilities
IRVINE/LOS ANGELES, November 30, 2022
Easterseals, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of disability services and supports, has announced the launch of ES Gaming with the goal of creating a new standard for equity, inclusion and access among disabled gamers; amplifying disabled voices; and delivering accessible innovations to develop a more inclusive space in an ever-evolving industry.
Launching the ES Gaming initiative is the Game4Access Streamathon being held Saturday, Dec. 3—also International Day of Persons with Disabilities—from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST on Twitch. Disabled influencers in the gaming world, along with other special guests, will come together to raise funds to support the program. The Streamathon will feature such games as Rocket League, Minecraft and Fortnite, all of which are popular with disabled and nondisabled gamers alike due to their accessibility.
Hosted by gaming influencers Logan Alexander Brown, Tanner Metro, Paul Amadeus Lane and Vendy, the day will also feature eight gamers with physical and neurodivergent disabilities from around the country, including Chris Robinson, Justice, Illinois; Paul Amadeus Lane, Adelanto, California; Raven, Denver, Colorado; Erin Hawley, Keyport, New Jersey; Rachel Sinclair, St. Louis, Missouri; Kyle Abbate, Houston, Texas; Dominick Evans, Toledo, Ohio; and Mike Luckett, Colorado Springs.
Join the Streamathon live: Game4Access Twitch page
To learn more about how you can get involved: https://www.esgaming.gg
While disability awareness and accessibility in gaming has become a priority for many companies and developers, there are still barriers and a continued lack of knowledge and understanding of what accessibility really means. Online communities can be exclusionary, where disabled gamers feel unwelcome and are often bullied out of spaces. ES Gaming will change that with educational and engaging social content, ongoing Twitch streams featuring disabled gamers and other community events aimed at bringing gamers together for a collective cause.
According to the CDC, 25% of U.S. residents, more than 61 million people across the country, have a disability. Of those, 23% live in California (more than 9 million), nearly 5.5 million of them in SoCal. According to ES Gaming research, 64% of disabled persons play video games. 60% of them for five+ hours and 40% for 10+ hours each week.
Easterseals Southern California (ESSC)—which provides services to more than 15,000 people and their families through the Southland and has a goal to make SoCal the most inclusive place for people with disabilities to live, learn, work and play by 2030—is supporting the initiative by enlisting the support of local influencers, sports figures and community leaders.
"It took me a while to find a gaming community that was both accessible and accepting,” says Erin Hawley, Digital Content Producer for Easterseals and gaming accessibility consultant. “I love having the opportunity to help others find that space. Community gaming has such a positive impact on mental health by combating isolation and I want others to know there is a place for them to exist as who they are without judgement.”
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. ES Gaming builds on the strengths of our national network of Affiliates who provide essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year.
About Easterseals Southern California
Easterseals Southern California provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 15,000 people each year—from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, daily and independent living services for adults, employment programs, veterans’ services and more. Our public education, policy and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans with disabilities today. Together, we’re empowering people with disabilities, families and communities to be full and equal participants in society.
Learn more at: https://www.easterseals.com/southerncal
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