Publication: Wheelchair-Based Game Design for Older Adults

Few leisure activities are accessible to institutionalized older adults using wheelchairs; in consequence, they experience lower levels of perceived health than able-bodied peers. Video games have been shown to be an engaging leisure activity for older adults. In our work, we address the design of wheelchair-accessible motion-based games. We present KINECTWheels, a toolkit designed to integrate wheelchair movements into motion-based games, and Cupcake Heaven, a wheelchair-based video game designed for older adults using wheelchairs. Results of two studies show that KINECTWheels can be applied to make motion-based games wheelchair-accessible, and that wheelchair-based games engage older adults. Through the application of the wheelchair as an enabling technology in play, our work has the potential of encouraging older adults to develop a positive relationship with their wheelchair.




Kathrin Gerling
University of Lincoln
Regan Mandryk
University of Saskatchewan
Michael Kalyn
University of Saskatchewan


Gerling, K.M., Mandryk, R.L., Kalyn, M. 2013. Wheelchair-Based Game Design for Older Adults. In The 15th ACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2013), Bellevue, WA, USA. Article 27, 8 pages. Best Student Paper Award. DOI=10.1145/2513383.2513436.


@inproceedings {312-ASSETS-2013-camera-ready,
author= {Kathrin Gerling and Regan Mandryk and Michael Kalyn},
title= {Wheelchair-Based Game Design for Older Adults},
booktitle= {The 15th ACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2013)},
year= {2013},
address= {Bellevue, WA, USA},
pages= {Article 27, 8 pages},
note= {Best Student Paper Award}