Ablegamers and GDC Send Two Game Developers With Disabilities to Four-Day Train Jam and GDC 2017

Harpers Ferry, WV (February 22, 2017) –  AbleGamers — the leading charity and organization wielding the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities — is thrilled to announce its first life-changing sponsored event of 2017. In partnership with Game Developers Conference (GDC), AbleGamers will provide two talented developers with disabilities an all-expense paid trip on Train Jam – a four-day train ride to San Francisco, during which the best and brightest indie developers gather to create games and learn from each other. This is followed by complimentary All Access attendance to GDC 2017, the world’s biggest annual event for developers.

For the first part of the sponsorship, Veve Jaffa, a talented developer who has chronic pain and motor difficulties, and AJ Ryan, a stupendous developer who has muscular dystrophy, will be fully sponsored by AbleGamers to participate in Train Jam. Founded in 2013 by developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam is a four-day picturesque journey by train from Chicago to San Francisco, where some of the industry’s best independent developers and promising game design students gather to show off their game development chops. Veve and AJ will receive accessible rooms and the best amenities the train has to offer, airfare, lodging and Train Jam event tickets.

After completing Train Jam, Veve and AJ will embark on a week of networking, learning and adventuring in San Francisco at GDC 2017, the biggest annual event for video game developers. With complimentary All Access passes generously donated by GDC, Veve and AJ will enjoy everything the conference has to offer — from panels, technology showcases to demos of new and unreleased games.

These two young stars bring years of experience and talent designing games that are fun and accessible, delighting those with and without disabilities. Their extensive knowledge of blending accessibility and beautiful game design embodies AbleGamers’ mission to promote inclusivity in games.

“Providing access to the inner workings of the game industry for people with disabilities is something we are particularly thrilled to facilitate,” said Mark Barlet, Founder of AbleGamers. “We can’t wait to see what Veve and AJ cook up while touring across the country, and are eager to hear about their experiences and opportunities encountered while at GDC in San Francisco.”

“We’re extremely grateful to GDC for partnering with us on this sponsorship,” added Steve Spohn, AbleGamers COO. “They truly understand that our vision isn’t limited to granting special game controllers to people with disabilities; we’re changing the industry from within by getting people with disabilities employed as developers.”

“We are thrilled to partner with AbleGamers for this cause,” said Train Jam founder, Adriel Wallick. “Train Jam’s main focus is to foster an adventurous and inspiring environment where developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures can pursue new ideas in a safe, accessible and empowering way. We’re super excited to work with developers to create more accessible games!”

If you would like to arrange an interview with the sponsorship winners, AbleGamers Executive Director Mark Barlet or Chief Operations Officer Steven Spohn via email, telephone or Skype, please contact Mario R. Kroll and CJ Melendez at [email protected].

About Train Jam

Founded in 2013 by independent game developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam is an annual experience that takes developers beyond their comfort zone and pushes for creative inspiration outside of a regular office environment. Train Jam strives to meet this goal by fostering an adventurous and inspiring environment where developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures can pursue new ideas in a safe, accessible and empowering way.

Train Jam invites the best and brightest game design students and independent developers to travel to Game Developers Conference via train, creating games during the roughly 52-hour journey. Train Jam 2017 begins February 23rd, 2017. For more information about Train Jam, please visit

About GDC

The Game Developers Conference® (GDC) is the world’s largest professional game industry event. The 2017 conference marks the 31st edition of GDC, making it the longest-running event of its kind. Presented every spring in San Francisco, it is the essential forum for learning, inspiration, and networking for the creators of computer, console, handheld, smartphone, tablet, mobile, and online games and creators of virtual and augmented reality for games and entertainment.

GDC attracts over 27,000 attendees, and is the primary forum where programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers and others involved in the development of interactive games and virtual reality gather to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry. GDC is produced by UBM Game Network, a division of UBM Americas.