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AbleGamers and GDC Send Two Game Developers with Disabilities to Four-Day Train Jam and GDC 2017

AbleGamers — the leading charity and organization wielding the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities — is thrilled to announce its first life-changing sponsored event of 2017. In partnership with Game Developers Conference (GDC), AbleGamers will provide two talented developers with disabilities an all-expense paid trip on Train Jam – a four-day train ride to San Francisco, during which the best and brightest indie developers gather to create games and learn from each other. This is followed by complimentary All Access attendance to GDC 2017, the world’s biggest annual event for developers.

For the first part of the sponsorship, Veve Jaffa, a talented developer who has chronic pain and motor difficulties, and AJ Ryan, a stupendous developer who has muscular dystrophy, will be fully sponsored by AbleGamers to participate in Train Jam. Founded in 2013 by developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam is a four-day picturesque journey by train from Chicago to San Francisco, where some of the industry’s best independent developers and promising game design students gather to show off their game development chops. Veve and AJ will receive accessible rooms and the best amenities the train has to offer, airfare, lodging and Train Jam event tickets.

After completing Train Jam, Veve and AJ will embark on a week of networking, learning and adventuring in San Francisco at GDC 2017, the biggest annual event for video game developers. With complimentary All Access passes generously donated by GDC, Veve and AJ will enjoy everything the conference has to offer — from panels, technology showcases to demos of new and unreleased games.

These two young stars bring years of experience and talent designing games that are fun and accessible, delighting those with and without disabilities. Their extensive knowledge of blending accessibility and beautiful game design embodies AbleGamers’ mission to promote inclusivity in games.

“Providing access to the inner workings of the game industry for people with disabilities is something we are particularly thrilled to facilitate, we can’t wait to see what Veve and AJ cook up while touring across the country, and are eager to hear about their experiences and opportunities encountered while at GDC in San Francisco.” – Mark Barlet, Founder of AbleGamers.

“We’re extremely grateful to GDC for partnering with us on this sponsorship, they truly understand that our vision isn’t limited to granting special game controllers to people with disabilities; we’re changing the industry from within by getting people with disabilities employed as developers.” – Steve Spohn, AbleGamers COO.

“We are thrilled to partner with AbleGamers for this cause, Train Jam’s main focus is to foster an adventurous and inspiring environment where developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures can pursue new ideas in a safe, accessible and empowering way. We’re super excited to work with developers to create more accessible games!” – Train Jam founder, Adriel Wallick. 

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