Twitch Is Opening Up Opportunities for Disabled Streamers

Finding a job isn’t easy for anyone, but for people with disabilities, this search is especially daunting. Internet technologies give disabled persons the means to live on a more equal basis within the global community and potential to find perspective job. Only a handful of disabled streamers have managed to earn their living from streaming, but along with providing additional income, Twitch offers a supportive community and the feeling of being less isolated. We have partially touched this topic in our previous post mentioning NoHandsKen - the quadriplegic streamer who plays games via voice input and some kind of special tech device. Below, we’ll tell you the stories of most popular disabled streamers on Twitch. Maybe, you will find a like-minded person among them or get inspired by their play and hedonism.

#1. Stacey Rebecca

Followers: 6,603

Conventional regular, cosplayer, lover of comic books, video games and Jammy Dodgers
Along with game streaming, Stacey Rebecca is a well-known UK model and cosplayer. She loves sweets and video games. Stacey plays a variety of them on PC and console. She suffers from Fibromyalgia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which means that the girl almost always lives in pain, often feels dizzy and faint. There are plenty of things Stacey can’t do anymore, but she is doing her best to live a full interesting life.  She invites guests to her streams, she is very interactive and open-minded. Moreover, Stacey provides Creative streames devoted to crafting cosplay things. The secret of Stacey’s success is in her openness: she sincerely talks about her illness and struggles around it, thus attracting viewers who are experiencing anxiety. She chose Twitch, because it allows to gather a stable community of like-minded people. On Her Streams Stacey shares:
  • Gameplay (her favorite games are Hearthstone, Sea of Thieves, IRL)
  • Her cosplay progress with detailed description of how she makes costumes
  • Chronic illness blog and videos (available mostly for subscribers)
  • Weekly vlogs of “My Pain Clinic Journey” to tell people about an 8-week pain management course
  • Regular 24-hour live broadcasts with invited guests and prizes with an aim to raise money for Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Stacey’s Quote: “It’s nice to have that kind of friendly group that I can essentially hang out with each day without having to leave the house.” Staceyofgotham_Twitch

#2. Brolylegs

Followers: 9,123

Expert of Street Fighter, the world's only gamer who plays with his FACE
Mike Begum aka “Brolylegs” has a muscle and connective tissues disorder called arthrogryposis. Basically, Mike’s brain doesn’t tell him muscles to grow, thus limiting the motion in the limbs. Despite his conditions, he became one of the best experts in Street Fighter game. In gaming community, Mike is known as “the best Chun-Li with no hands” as he became one of the top Texas Chun-Li players after the game for just 6 months. He is also one of the best Super Smash Bros players in the state. Brolylegs’s secrets of success are sincerity and patience during the gameplay. Brolylegs’ Quote: “This may sound corny, but I believe I was put on this earth to teach others like myself that despite my disability, I am able to overcome them. I want people to know this about me, and that I am a man of dignity and respect.” Watch this interview where Mike tells how he plays without using his hands, why and how he uses Chun-Li, and his advice for others in similar situations. Some Interesting Facts about Brolylegs:
  • Brolylegs’ analytic mentality allowed him to fully comprehend the game Street Fighters. Among his accomplishments are: 1st place in several Houston tournaments with 60+ entrants, #1 ranked Chun-li and #3 Poison on Xbox Live.
  • Mike owns a gaming space in Houston to let gamers of all kinds play whenever they wish.
  • His biggest dream is a futuristic house to satisfy his daily needs, such as voice-recognition home system, lift from the floor, etc.
  • Brolylegs loves teaching beginning players: during his streams he tells not only about a gameplay tactics and characters, but also about the mental process of competition (tips on avoiding stress and getting focused on the match)

#3. Guldbrandsen

Followers: 331

#DeafGirlstreameer, Member of DHHGamers community for hearing-impaired gamers 
Guldbrandsen is a 25-year old girl who was born deaf with undeveloped inner ears. She is the only one deaf in her family. She started playing games with Playstation 1 games Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, then switched to SNES and NES with Super Mario Brothers. Today, Guldbrandsen streams multiple console games, including Unforgiving: A Northern Hymn,  The Beast Inside and The Council. Guldbrandsen’s Stream Might Be of Interest for:
  • Anyone with hearing loss
  • All viewers who want to become a part of positive atmosphere and love dogs (by the way, Guldbrandsen is an owner of a deaf dachshund called Shea that puts up with Guldbrandsen all the time)
  • For all “Moms and Dads” streamers: Guldbrandsen is a part of  Team MAD (Moms and Dads that aims helping parents-streamers to balance their lifestyle.
Deaf Streamer Guldbrandsen

#4. Mackenzie

Followers: 37,547

The fan of Hearthstone, suffering from epilepsy
Mackenzie was diagnosed with seizure disorder as a teenager. She takes medication to control her grand mals but still has breakthroughs. Several seizures happened with a streamer during Hearthstone broadcasts, and Mackenzie was brave enough to make video with her epilepsy breakthrough a part of public fare. When publishing this video on YouTube, she stated that it is meant to be educational  for those who do not know what a tonic-clonic/grand mal seizure may look like. That accident only increased openness and vulnerability around illness and Mackenzie's stream. Mackenzie also was a participant of "True Life, I Have Epilepsy" show to help raise epilepsy awareness among people. She is not afraid to talk sincerely about her health problem and always eager to give advice when somebody needs it. Because of epilepsy Mackenzie were put out of work, and Twitch platform gave her the opportunity to have a job as a disabled adult and find a way to make ends meet. Her stream focuses on a single game Hearthstone. Being an expert in the game, Mackenzie notes that it is still fun to play it: “There will always be challenges in the game because the developer keeps adding new cards and mixing things up. Watch Mackenzie’s Stream If:
  • You are a fan of Hearthstone
  • You are searching for a place that promotes positivity, wellness for all viewers and players
  • Epilepsy touched you or your friend and you want to know more about this illness (questions about this are welcomed in chat)

#5. HalfCoordinated

Followers: 15,111

The Max-Agility Speedrunner Gaming with One Hand, fan of Transformers: Devastation.
Clint "Halfcoordinated" Lexa has a hemiparesis - a physical disability that lowers the coordination and sensation of the entire right side of a body. With his right hand Clint can do only simple clasping actions. So, he always  plays speed-run one-handed. For all that, Halfcoordinated is one of the top speedrunners streamers in gaming community. He spent a lot of time to figure out how his favorite games work, and this knowledge contributed better technique and speed to Clint’s gameplay. Watch Halfcoordinated Twitch Stream, if:
  • You are searching for pure inspiration
  • Do love action games, like Vanquish, Transformers
  • You are fascinated with Platinum Games
HalfCoordinated is one of the main participants of an advocacy group AbleGamers that organizes different streaming events for disabled gamers. By demonstrating other people how disabled streamers use controllers, speak in sign language or do a lot of things, AbleGamers helps them to better integrate into the streaming community. Clint also co-works with game developers: he tests new games and gives tips on how to customize the game and implement custom controls in the interests of disabled gamers. Clint is very open and radiant personality. He loves pushing the limits, and this is true for everything in his life. Just watch this inspiring video from 2017's Summer Games Done Quick:  

Takeaway

From the epileptic Mackenzie to quadriplegic NoHandsKen, there is an increasing number of disabled streamers who are finding and income and, what is even more important, a real sense of supportive community on Twitch. Hopefully, Twitch initiatives will inspire other streaming platforms to make disabled streamers feel more comfortable and inclusive.  

3/27/2018