A new collaborative effort between Microsoft and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was announced on April 30th. The aim of this collaboration is to provide a greater range of opportunities for education, recreation and therapy for veterans who suffer from mobility impairments. They hope to provide those services by adding an Xbox Adaptive Controller ─ which is an Xbox controller designed for people with mobility impairments ─ in certain VA rehabilitation centers in the U.S.


Microsoft will be donating its controllers, consoles and other gaming equipment to various VA centers for rehabilitation efforts.  (Image Credit: Jeff Young Photography/Microsoft)

The collaboration will mainly focus on handing out video game controllers and services to veterans being offered therapeutic and rehabilitative programs focused on providing challenges to muscle activation and hand-eye coordination. Participation in social and recreational activities will also be provided in these services.


The newly formed partnership is another step toward meeting VA's goal of providing strong customer service and business transformation. Both Microsoft and VA found an opportunity to bring gaming in for veterans with spinal injuries, limb amputations, and neurological or other injuries at 22 VA medical facilities in the United States.  As a means of starting off the collaborative efforts, Microsoft will be giving away its Xbox Adaptive Controller, games, consoles and other adaptive gaming equipment.


Trained VA staff will also interact with Veterans using the equipment provided by Microsoft and will provide feedback with Microsoft on the veteran's experience using the therapeutic utility.


The Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to make gaming more accessible to millions of people around the world. The focus was to provide those suffering from mobility limitations with a unique, engaging and fun gaming experience by allowing them to interact and play with other gamers.


VA staff engaging with Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller. (Image Credit: Jeff Young Photography/Microsoft)


VA and Microsoft have worked together for over 20 years, offering the highest level of care and service to Veterans around the U.S. Gaming are popular amongst military personnel. They’re providing access to the Xbox Adaptive Controller in VA rehabilitation facilities allows veterans the ability to experience the benefits offered by gaming, which includes staying connected with friends and family worldwide, building teamwork through cooperative gameplay, and offering stress relief. Their donations will be carried out in 22 VA centers. The equipment and controllers will also be made available for veterans at various events being hosted by VA's Office of National Sports Programs and Special Events like the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.


Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com