AbleGamers and Shepherd Center Partnership

AbleGamers Peer Counseling staff members Jessie and Andy along with three Shepherd Center staff members sitting the edge of a stage, a large screen in back of them shows a slide with the AbleGamers logo from a presentation about the AbleGamers and Shepherd Center Partnership

Partnering for greater impact!

Shepherd Center and the AbleGamers Charity partner to help people enjoy gaming after spinal cord and/or brain injury.

We are excited to announce a Powered by AbleGamers partnership with Shepherd Center. Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions.

Research shows that people with disabilities are 51% more likely to be socially isolated than their non-disabled peers– a challenge that this partnership helps to address by making gaming more accessible to people after spinal cord and/or brain injuries.

AbleGamers provides Shepherd Center with initial training and ongoing support for staff along with assistive technologies, such as adaptive controllers or customized devices that help remove barriers to play. Specially trained therapists and rehabilitation engineers at Shepherd Center work with patients during their rehabilitation to test technologies and assess what they need to game. When the patient returns home from Shepherd Center, AbleGamers can often grant the customized equipment for personal use at no cost to the person.

“In 2022 AbleGamers’ Sr. Director of Peer Counseling, Andy Wu, began focusing on meeting players with disabilities where they are, and that set us on a path to find partners that understood the power that gaming brings to people,” said Mark Barlet, founder and executive director of AbleGamers. “You could not ask for a better partner than Shepherd Center, one of the top rehabilitation centers in the United States. Shepherd Center’s commitment to bringing AbleGamers’ mission into their work demonstrates the true value of the outcomes when we enable people with disabilities to have fun.”

And for both organizations, the mission is personal.

“The fact that we can partner with the same organization that helped one of our own employees, Aaron Price, is just icing on the cake,” said Barlet. “His work at Shepherd Center enabled him to continue his passion for gaming, which he now gets to share with others through his work at AbleGamers.”

None of this is possible without YOU! A huge THANK YOU to everyone who supports our work. If you would like to support this and future partnerships, DONATE today.