If you were one of the 100 million people that watched the Super Bowl this year, you probably watched the commercials that filled air-time between downs. While most of these commercials were the typical beer and fast food advertisements, there was one commercial by Microsoft that stood above the rest and touched many viewers. In one minute, the commercial showed the good that technology is doing for the special needs community.
For those that missed the commercial, it told the story of a group of young people with special needs that are passionate about video games. However, the traditional style of controllers used to play games were not well suited to young people with differing abilities. Microsoft, recognizing this problem, designed the new “Xbox adaptive controller” to allow kids with special needs to customize the controller to a configuration that allows them to play to their fullest potential. Microsoft’s message here is clear: technology is an empowering force and should be used to create the opportunity for everyone to live up to their fullest potential.
For Microsoft to use the Super Bowl to promote the intersect of the technology industry and the empowerment of those with special needs shows the importance of the relationship between the two. There are many great minds working to develop technologies that improve the lives of people with special needs and the world needs to hear these stories. Whether it’s 3D printing new limbs or developing a functional video game controller or using technology like we do at Hope Trust to develop personalized care plans, technology is the basis by which we are building a more inclusive world for people with special needs.