Dad builds Nintendo games controller for disabled daughter

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Ava Steel with her controllerImage source, Rory Steel/Twitter
Image caption,
Rory Steel tweeted a video of Ava enjoying the first version of the controller

A man has hand-built a custom controller for his disabled daughter so she is able to play video games.

Rory Steel said the Nintendo Switch controller was built for nine-year-old Ava with a Microsoft device and components from eBay for about £110.

A video on Twitter of Ava, who is from Jersey, using the device has had more than 800,000 views.

Mr Steel said she had given the device a "big thumbs-up" and the attention had been "a little bit surreal".

He said Ava, who has hereditary spastic paraplegia which affects her motor controls and speech, made the suggestion after seeing videos online.

Teacher Mr Steel, head of the Digital Jersey Academy, built the device with two joysticks and arcade game-style flashing buttons hooked up to a Microsoft Xbox adaptive controller.

He said the controller was built in a weekend after some "serious soldering" and "wire management".

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Mr Steel, who described himself as "always a bit of a tinkerer", said Ava's five-year-old brother Corben, who has the same condition, was also involved.

He said Ava had "actually stolen the limelight", but the younger sibling was "straight in afterwards" to also play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

"She also said that she's made me famous and asked 'What's my cut?!'," Mr Steel said.

Image source, Rory Steel/Twitter
Image caption,
The project cost about £110 in devices and parts
Image source, Rory Steel/Twitter
Image caption,
Mr Steel said the device needed separated buttons to allow Ava to use it

Some of Mr Steel's tweets were reposted by Bryce Johnson, founder of Microsoft's Inclusive Tech Lab and an inventor of the Xbox controller, who also gave him some suggestions for the controller.

Mr Steel said the project was ongoing, with future ideas including putting it into a wedge-shaped housing to make it easier to use.

He also said he was planning to put up instructions online for people who wanted to build such devices after requests from parents of children with similar conditions.

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