I met with Thomas last night. I gave him a cool 3d printed minecraft figurine to help break the ice. I had been warned that he was a little shy, but hey, I'm a gamer. We had no problem connecting and discussing minecraft and sonic, his two favorites.
He currently has a ps3 controller (sixaxis) that he prefers over the xbox controller because the triggers are easier for him to pull. The sixaxis also has the two analog sticks closer together. It wasn't working with his computer, so I got that hooked up and Thomas was as happy as can be. Frankly, I could walk away right now and that kid would be happy. He can now run minecraft with mods!
I still plan on making him something custom though.
There are several existing systems out there that I can draw from.
Watch this video from AbleGamers.com you can see several modded controllers that could possibly work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM8iNa87 ... r_embedded
Muscular Dystrophy causes people to lose strength in their muscles. Thomas has a hard time pulling the triggers and will possibly one day have a hard time holding the controller in its current form factor.
I plan on attempting two routes with this.
1. a big platform covered in velcro with positionable buttons. You can see an example in the video of a similar device. Being able to 3d print different button configurations/angles should take this a step further.
2. a custom form fitting controller that Thomas can put his hand on(imagine a ball mouse on steroids). This would be prohibitive to most people in terms of construction, but with a 3d printer, I can literally just print a few and not have to deal with huge runs of injection molding or anything.
let me know how you can help! Of course I would love input from anyone, but you know you hold a special place in my heart (the only person to be un-banned!)