Our Limbitless Story: Microsoft’s Bryce Johnson Visits the Limbitless Lab

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Last week, Limbitless Solutions was lucky enough to welcome Microsoft Inclusive Lead Bryce Johnson into their lab for a visit. Bryce was in the Orlando area for the 2019 Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference and stopped by the Limbitless Lab while he was in town to talk about his experiences and accessibility gaming with members of the team.

Bryce has been with Microsoft since 2010 and originally worked as an interactive designer, where he worked as a member of the team that launched the notorious Xbox One console.

“Bryce is an amazing advocate for the game industry,” Assistant Professor Peter Smith, PhD Nicholson School of Communication and Media said. “His ability to listen to both the user and developer communities really helps lead the way for inclusive design in gaming.”

Now as the Inclusive Lead at Microsoft, Bryce has collaborated on developing the Xbox Adaptive Controller and has been a significant part of the #GamingForEveryone initiative. Since Limbitless has expanded into the accessibility gaming sector of the industry, Microsoft was generous enough to send Limbitless an adaptive controller before its release.

A friend of the Limbitless team that has cerebral palsy was one of the first to try out this new accessibility device at the Limbitless lab. Due to his diagnosis, it can sometimes be challenging for him to have complete control over his hands. When he was using the new accessibility controller, he would sometimes hit the power button when trying to hit the controller’s main buttons. That’s when members of the Limbitless Solutions’ team saw an opportunity to create a sleeve attachment to cover the power button on the controller. Just like every other Limbitless project, the sleeve attachment project was a chance for the team to showcase their style and creativity, while at the same time, create an accessible product.

Bryce’s insight was extremely helpful to members of the Limbitless team, as accessibility in game design is one of the newer projects that they have taken on. Even as a leader in the industry, Bryce was still fascinated by the recent game design work that Limbitless has done.

“We [Microsoft] know very well that we can’t work in isolation when we make these products,” Bryce said. “So, it’s crucial for us to come out and see, not only what companies like you [Limbitless Solutions] are actually doing, but to meet people and just to kind of connect the dots. You can work with people with disabilities, but sometimes it is still good to have different types of points of view and different types of expertise.”

It was Bryce’s first visit at the Limbitless lab and it hopefully was not his last. As Limbitless continues to explore the accessibility gaming industry, their hope is to continue to develop relationships with people like Bryce. Just as it is their goal with every project, the team hopes that the attachment sleeve can play a part in making the world a more inclusive place.

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