Ability Powered Gamer Spotlight: Pro-Able

I recently had the pleasure of meeting another Ability Powered Gamer who emailed me with a ton of really fantastic resources to share with you guys. I would like to introduce you to Pro-Able. Pro-Able is a Warcraft gamer from Spain who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She made a video to share her settup and show how different accessibility software can really help make navigating Azeroth even smoother for Ability Powered Gamers. Links to everything will be after our interview with Pro-Able!


Tell us about your character.

My first character was a Night Elf. She was a balance druid. I chose those class and spec because I liked the fact that they could transform into beasts. But when I saw mages in action, I immediately changed my mind. So I decided to create a Draenei mage (I like the way they trot!) and she’s my main since then.


How long have you played WOW?

I  started in 2009. A friend of mine used to play occasionally and I decided to try it out myself. That was the best decision I could have made at that time. My Grandma passed away one month later and WoW helped me to cope with my grief.


What sort of disabilities are you playing with?

I have a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It weakens my muscles progressively. I never walked, so I always had to use a wheelchair. I don’t have much strength in my arms and just a little dexterity in my hands, so playing with mouse and keyboard is sometimes difficult. In addition, I get tired a lot quicker than a non-disabled person.


What is your favorite part of the game? 

I love the feeling of freedom, to feel that my condition is not a handicap anymore and I can walk, run, jump and fight. And yes, fly! I also like to be part of a huge community. I love to find other players wandering Azeroth when I go questing.


What are the aspects of the game that you, as a player with a disability, struggle with the most?

The hardest for me is the social part of the game. Some people seem not to understand that population in Azeroth is diverse, and that most of us are in the game for disconnecting from the Real World and have fun, not to be the best WoW player. I love going in groups to dungeons and raids, but they eventually get too demanding and I get too tired.


Are there any aspects of Warcraft that have gotten easier because of things Blizzard has added?

Interacting on left click is a significant improvement, so I do have not to right click as frequently as before. Move Pad is also a great feature that reduces muscular fatigue since it moves your character automatically.


Are there any changes Blizzard has added that have made it more difficult to play? 

I have mostly played solo the last two expansions, and I didn’t find any change that made it more difficult in this mode. However, I did try out some dungeons which were a little bit harder than expected. Also, I watched some Scenarios gameplays and they seemed pretty hard to play because of the amount of movement involved, too.


Are there things you think Blizzard could implement that could be a significant help to disabled players?

The most important thing they could add is rotate buttons to the Move Pad. That would make movement so much easier. Additionally, solo dungeons and raids -or playing with Blizzard‘s staff- would be interesting since we could play at our own pace and fatigue would be less. Pausing the game would be a good implementation as well.


Do you have any advice for other disabled gamers in Azeroth?

My advice to them is that they never give up. There are many apps and devices out there that can make the game more accessible and playable for them. They just have to look for on-screen keyboards, macros and switches.


When you’re not playing WoW, what do you do?

I basically study. I’m getting a degree in Art History. When I’m not playing WoW or doing some homework, I play Hearthstone and other games, read books, write, watch my favorite shows and series, and listen to music.


Click2Speak http://www.click2speak.net/

Comfort On-screen Keyboard Pro http://www.comfort-software.com/on-screen-keyboard.html

Double left click to trigger right click macro https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4aEgLvYWHZ6YTdkbFhId2h6MTA/view?usp=sharing

VAC http://www.dwvac.com/


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