Creating a Custom Adaptive Gaming Setup with Xbox

December 4, 2020
A patient in a power chair seen from behind, playing a racing game on the Xbox One using buddy button adaptive controllers

A patient plays the Xbox One in Helen Hayes Hospital’s Adaptive Gaming Center utilizing Buddy Button adaptive switches.

As we spend more time social distancing this year, gaming has taken center stage as a source of quality entertainment and safe social interaction. Better still, this social distancing approved pastime can be enjoyed by individuals of all abilities through the use of modified equipment and other assistive technology solutions.

At Helen Hayes Hospital, patients who use our Adaptive Video Game Center have access to a variety of video game consoles such as the Xbox and PCs, as well as modified controllers, eye-gaze technology, and more that allow people of all ages and abilities to play video games. The goal is not only for patients to reap the benefits of gaming while at HHH, but to also help them explore how to create their own customized video gaming setups in their own home.

Read on for tips from HHH Adaptive Sports & Recreation Coordinator Peter Gagliardo on how you can create your own custom gaming setup using the Xbox!

1) Gaming System

The Xbox One, when paired with the company’s adaptive controller, allows a player to create a completely customizable gaming experience to fit their needs and abilities. In addition to the adaptive controller, there are adaptive settings that players can use including:

Customizable button mapping
Mouse and keyboard support
Screen magnifier
High contrast
Speech to text
Game transcription on select games
Voice commands
Closed captions
Personalized customer support
Disability Answer Desk
For more information regarding the accessibility features on the Xbox One, please visit:

2) Accessories

Xbox has created an adaptive and completely customizable controller that allows the player to add external devices such as switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to the controller. (Watch HHH unbox the Xbox Adaptive Controller HERE!) The following are a few of the available devices:

The Xbox Adaptive Controller:
Logitech Adaptive Gaming Button Kit:
Clamps/ Goose necks:
One-Handed Joystick:

3) Funding and Information

AbleGamers is a charity that helps people create customized setups and controllers that allows them to enjoy playing video games either for the first time or once again after an injury. If you or someone you know needs financial assistance to get accessible gaming equipment and accessories, please visit:

If you do not need financial assistance but would like to learn more about what adaptive equipment is right for you or someone you know and want to talk to an expert, please visit:

To learn more about adaptive video gaming at Helen Hayes Hospital, please contact Peter Gagliardo, Adapted Sports & Recreation Coordinator at 845-786-4950.