36- Parkwood – Andrew and Josh: “Andosh Accessible Gaming”

Andosh game controllerOriginal Recording Date: March 30th, 2016

Guests: Andrew and Josh, “Andosh Accessible Gaming”

Andrew and Josh are two brothers with physical disabilities that are starting their own company called Andosh Accessible Gaming, specializing in modifying game controllers to match people’s specific needs.  The brothers live with “Hypermobile Ehlers Danlose Syndrome”, which means they live with chronic pain and frequent dislocations.  Instead of letting that defeat them, they have turned it into a passion.  I am in total awe of these guys, and can’t wait to see where their business takes them.  Thanks for being my guests guys!

Here is some more about Josh and Andrew, taken from their “Andosh Accessible Gaming” facebook page:

“When we were growing up, I spent months out of every year without use of my hands.Apart from losing independance and slowing school work, it took away one of my favourite pass times; videogames. We spent years looking for answers, approaching many organizations. Most leads came up with nothing. Others offered an overly convoluted solution that would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and take a very long time to implement.

After years of searching we began building our own solutions. Early modifications came in the form of tools to allow access.
By attatching a popsicle stick to a resting splint, I could press the keys to play Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the computer.
The first attempt at a custom controller was made by Josh, at about age 8. Josh plugged a dead calculator (which had died due to a short circuit) into our Nintendo GameCube using alligator clips. The controller worked… until he broke the circuit board. It was decided soon after that Josh should be taught basic electronics before he hurt himself or started a fire.

It wasn’t until 2013, that we actually modified our first controller. We modified a GameCube controller to allow me to play without rotating my wrist (see pictures). We moved a joystick and altered the grip. The first model was complete within a day of getting the idea. Since then, we have experimented with ways to make the shoulder buttons trigger more easily. Looking online, we found an adapter that would allow the controller to connect to the Nintendo Wii U by using it in place of the Classic Controller accessory for the Wii Remote. Two years later Josh built a hands-free controller for the GameCube using a number of Staples Easy Buttons (see pictures).

We have lived through a lot. We understand what it is like to live with a physical disability. We know how frustrating it is to sit on the sidelines wishing to play videogames with friends. That is why we have started Andosh Accessible Gaming. We get it and we want to help.”

 

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