Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Adaptive Games

Games that include everyone.

What does it do?

Adapted games are games that might be played in a way so that everyone can play regardless of ability or disability. It might be a game that is changed to make it easier to play with just one hand or no hands at all. Perhaps it is changed so that people can play from the wheelchairs or without using their voice. There are many ways to modify and change games so that everyone can participate.

What kinds of adaptive games are there?

Switch Activated Games

A switch button might make it easier to play some games for people that have difficulty using their hands. You can use a switch to do things like rolling dice and rotating a bingo cage. You can purchase toys and games that are already switch-adapted or you can use a battery interrupter to adapt most battery operated toys and games to be activated by a switch.

Braille and Tactile Games

There are many games that have braille and tactile versions so that people who are blind or have low vision can participate. Braille and tactile games include Connect 4, Bananagrams, Monopoly, Bingo, Scrabble, Hi-Ho Cherry-O and others. (DIY Option: puffy paint, braille stickers)

Card Holders

These devices help people with pain and/or limited use of their hands so they can see their cards during a card game. They’re also easy to make yourself!

Visual Aids

Visual aids like visual schedules, white boards, and diagrams can help all kinds of people be included, especially people with autism or those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

Ball Games and Other Sports

Oversized balls and sports equipment might be easier for some people to hold, play with, and manipulate. Balls that beep and make noise help people who are blind and have low vision be included when playing sports. Bowling ramps and ball pushers make bowling more accessible.

You can see more sports-related ideas on the sports equipment page.

Video Games

There are many options to make video game systems more accessible. The Xbox system has their own adaptive controller which was designed to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility. The company Logitech makes a set of tools that pair with the adaptive controller. There is an organization called AbleGamers that has many resources regarding video game accessibility.

Three players seated at a table, one in a wheelchair, holding playing cards.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

adaptive games, adapted games, switch adapted games, tactile games, accessible gaming

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Alanna Raffel

Alanna Raffel is an occupational therapist. She has worked in a variety of settings including acute rehab, outpatient pediatrics, early intervention, and schools. She is passionate about accessibility and loves discovering and making new tools that promote independence. Alanna enjoys making assistive technology using her sewing machine and 3D printer.

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