November 20, 2016 2:35 pm

Modified controller helps patients overcome adversity

Assistive techonology is helping 15-year-old Noah play with his friends. Sunday, November 20, 2016.

Global News
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15-year-old Noah Dugas has spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects the control of his muscle movement.

His limited movement doesn’t allow him to play sports and other outdoor activities with his friends.

However, with the help of staff at the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilition in Fredericton, Noah can now join his friends on the playing field, in the online gaming world.

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The centre’s assistive technologies staff worked with him to modify a gaming controller to meet his specific needs.

“Once I saw the work that they have done, and they showed me some ideas, I thought wow, they actually can do something,”  Noah Dugas said.

There is documented clinical evidence that video gaming can be an important part of rehabilitation treatment for many individuals with a disability.

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Online gaming can provide the important human experience of social connection, and many games provide virtual experiences that would otherwise be difficult or inaccessible.

Stan Cassidy foundation director Alissa Lee sees first hand how a modified controller can change someones’ life.

“It gives people the opportunity to have virtual experiences that they cant have in real life, like run, jump and win at something and that can be a great feeling for someone who has differing abilities” Lee said.

“He can play on an even keel and compete with his friends, it’s been great for him to do that,”  Noah’s father Luc Dugas said.

“For the time he’s playing the video game he can forget about everything, he can be like his buddies, win and lose against his buddies.”

The Stan Cassidy Foundation is a registered charity that benefits the lives of Stan Cassidy patients and their families by raising funds for direct patient support programs, research and education, and building of equipment.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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