Monthly Archives: December 2014

SCI Superstar: Chuck Bittner

chuck

With the tongue-in-cheek gamer nickname ONLYUSEmeFACE, Chuck Bittner is one of the world’s most impressive gamers. As a C5 quadriplegic, Chuck plays console games using only his face and since 2011, he’s been on a mission to bring universal key remapping to the gaming industry.

In layman’s speak – he wants every console game to allow players to change which keys on a controller control movement for gameplay. He has amassed hundreds of signatures over the years, and he’s still pounding the industry hard.

Also a hilarious self-dubbed “can’t stand up comedian,” Chuck has introduced a whole new world into life with quadriplegia. Here is his awesome story.

Why he’s fearless

Growing up in New England, Chuck fell in love with gaming but after a car accident at the age of 20 year, old his love was confronted with a huge problem – he could no longer move his hands. How in the heck was he going to play?  Things were looking blea, but soon he figured out a way to still play, and that was by using his face.

Now 39 years old, and living in Exeter, New Hampshire, Chuck began using one face to play nearly 19 years ago and now it’s his preferred method.  He has gotten so good at it in fact that he started a video channel showing the world how he plays and it now has over 600 videos.  Known as AskaCapper, his site will show whatever his viewers request.

Since being forced to use his face to play, this is now his preferred method. His main gaming love is Call of Duty; a game he’s been playing for years and sometimes even along with his 69 year old dad, who’s one of the oldest players. But his main passion outside an actual gameplay is trying to change the industry, and key remapping to be specific.

In 2011, Chuck began promoting his petition at PAX East, a national gaming conference in Boston, approaching game developers like Sony and the makers of Borderlands, Gearbox Software. While feedback from developers has been mixed, Chuck feverishly tries to persuade developers on the monetary aspect of things as well.

The truth – some games have been changed because of Chuck, but only a few and they’re not well known. A lot of work still needs to be done in this area.

What’s next?

Around four years ago is when Chuck also threw his hat in the comedy ring, joking about everything from sex to being “the inspirational kid.” While his style of comedy may not be for everybody (it’s quite biting), it definitely helps bring home the message that people with spinal cord injuries are still just like everyone else. Watch his standup

After a spinal cord injury, it’s never easy finding your path again and we love how Chuck has found his. An path definitely less traveled, he is committed to making a difference in the gaming and comedy worlds which he resides, and we love him for it.

– Visit his site: AskaCapper.com

Sign the Custom Button reMapping Petition

How have you brought accessibility to your passions?

Watch the videos!

Quadriplegic Can’t Stand Up Comic – Chuck Bittner – AskACapper.com & Gamer!

– More of Chuck’s comedy: Dealing with loss…

PAX East 2011: Chuck “AskACapper” Bittner Interview

Chuck Bittner: Handicap Gamer/Comedian Special Request For Game Devs “ALLOW BUTTON REMAPPING”

Just Strap It: How These Quads Stay Upright

luke

In the land of spinal cord injuries, quadriplegics are definitely on the short end of the stick when it comes to our balance. Many of us have to wear what’s called a chest strap; one of those love them/hate them accoutrements of life with a cervical spinal cord injury.

They’re unsightly, but boy can they save you from so many near-death situations, you know…keeping you in your chair at all times. Kind of important stuff. But there are more than just the vinyl/velcro chest strap contraptions out there to meet your chest strap needs.

Several homemade versions exist, and doing what we do well, we have found some of the best. Check out these three DIY chest strap videos that may get you rethinking your current chest strapping situation.

Video #1: Finally…success with hiding a chest strap

In this outstanding video – if you have to use chest straps, here comes a method for finally hiding ye olde ugly chest strap; something I’m sure many of you have thought about. Such a badly needed tip!

Watch as he shows the sneaky holes he puts in the armpits of his shirts where he’s able to snake through the chest strap. It’s a brilliant way to both hide a chest strap and hide the holes for the straps. Since he is a C4 quad and doesn’t move his arms that much, most people don’t even realize the holes are there too.

Watch: Hiding a WC chest strap

Video #2: Custom “greatest” chest strap from Melrose Wheelchair

Want the freedom to be able to throw yourself around without absolutely any fear of falling out of your wheelchair? A quadriplegic in Florida who runs the video channel “Life in a Nursing Home” is a believer in the $75 chest straps from Melrose Wheelchairs, a company out of New Zealand.

They make heavy-duty chest straps that have two buckles, 99% making it impossible for you to ever fall out. Sound like something you’re interested in? If so, check the strap out here, but first make sure to watch the video from “Life in a Nursing Home.” Is always good to get a user’s opinion first.

Watch: Greatest Chest Strap for Quadriplegics

Video # 3: Automated up & down chest usage

And in another brilliant DIY that’s rocking the chest strap world, here comes an electronic chest strap featured by the Duchenne Foundation Australia; a progressive neurological condition similar to MS.

Doug, a young man with the condition, has hardwired his chest strap to his joystick. When he pushes his joystick switch forward, the chest strap loosens, and when he brings the switch back towards him, the strap tightens. We love it!

Watch: Electronic chest strap

The moral of the story – you can always improve upon an old wheelchair accessory. Don’t ever accept something “as is” if you don’t like it. Improve upon it! All of us are in this disability community together, and every time one of us invents something, we are helping thousands of others.

How do you like to wear your chest strap?

Watch the videos!

Hiding a WC chest strap

Greatest Chest Strap for Quadriplegics

Electronic chest strap