Video Games for the Disabled Student

Adapted from: Unleasing the Power of Innovation for Assistive Technology, National Center for Technology Innovation 

Video games have become part of our children’s everyday lives. Games are increasingly being used in instruction to engage students and to teach them important skills such as teamwork, decision making, and reading. Although game developers have not traditionally focused on accessibility, there is a growing movement to ensure that developers keep these features in mind as they design games. The increasing focus on the value of games in education at all levels include:

  • Preschool literacy games offered by children’s shows such as Sesame Street
  • Social skill games for children on the autism disorder spectrum
  • A middle school civics education
  • Games for career exploration and transition planning

Some games also provide opportunities for improved self-confidence and social growth through online interaction. Until recently online games have been primarily web-based games accessed through a personal computer. However, the newest games consoles, such as Wii include options of multiplayer games through Internet connections, brining interactive online games to these consoles, which are often located in family space rather than an individual computer.

Organizations such as Universally Accessible Games, the Serious Games Initiative, and the International Game Developers Association have worked on making games more universally accessible. These features include captioning of dialogue, text-to-speech for onscreen text of standard one, customizable skill levels for multiplayer games and customizable colors for colorblindness. Providing customizable features in multiplayer games and any educational software to support a diverse group of users ensures that more users can benefit and contribute.

Find Support

Do you have questions about making modifications to your home or vehicle?

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to parents, caregivers, and professionals about their experiences with changing homes and cars to better suit disabled children.


Looking for more information on Assistive Technology and Individualized Service Plans?

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)
(877) 687-2842 (877) 687-2842

Alliance for Technology Access
(707) 778-3011 (707) 778-3011

National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership (NATTAP)
(703) 524-6686 (703) 524-6686 (AT resources)