On July 28, 2021, the official founding meeting of AbleGamers Brazil took place. AbleGamers Brazil is the first charity in Brazil with a focus on gaming for people with disabilities and the first AbleGamers outside the USA. This is an important step in the evolution of AbleGamers Charity because we know the challenges people with disabilities face are universal, and the world is a better place when we play together.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Christian Rivolta Bernauer, AbleGamers Brazil representative earlier this year after our Peer Counseling Team sent their first QuadStick to Brazil. Here are a few highlights from our interview:
Chris who was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the biggest city in South America spends his time with his wife, a psychologist and professor of psychology, his five-year-old son, two-year-old daughter, and ten-year-old cat.
How did you get involved with the AbleGamers Charity?
I first heard about AbleGamers watching Jake Baldino talk about it on the YouTube channel Gameranx, which I´m a huge fan of. At that time, I was a writer at a blog called Nós Nerds (www.nosnerds.com.br) and doing interviews for the blog. I visited AbleGamers webpage, thought it was an interesting project, and sent an e-mail asking for an interview. Steve Spohn, AbleGamers COO, was very receptive and promptly granted me the opportunity to talk via Skype.
This was around June 2017. Steve captivated me with the work done by AbleGamers. At the end of the interview, I asked him how could I help and he said that AbleGamers depends on donations, that people organized events and live streams to raise money. Less than 2 months later, we organized the first Brazilian fundraiser, which we called AbleGamers Brazil. It was a 12 hour long live stream that raised 500 USD. A humble start, but we felt very proud. Now a yearly event, we are planning something grand for our fifth year 2021.
Tell me about what problem AbleGamers’ programs and services solve?
Here in Brazil, we try to focus on making people aware of the solutions that exist for people with disabilities to play video games. A very common comment in our live events is people saying they had a disability and they didn’t know there were options for them to play video games.
Tell me about someone who has used AbleGamers services in Brazil?
Kevin just received the donation of a QuadStick in January. I have also lent an Xbox Adaptive Controller to several people, so they can test it and verify that it is the best solution for them before buying one.
Now that they’ve worked with you, what’s their life like?
They all say their life changed. It is very fulfilling and rewarding to see how we can have such an enormous impact on people’s lives.
What do you think other people should know about the AbleGamers?
AbleGamers is more than just adapted controllers. They nurture inclusion, create a safe community for people with disabilities, raise awareness to what can be done better to include people with disabilities, and therefore, make games more accessible to everyone.
Last question: What inspires you?
Seeing people do good deeds and helping others just because it is the right thing to do, stories of people overcoming adversities.
Chris told me his friends would describe him as well-humored, funny, and very social. Based on our interview, I found him to be all that and so much more.