As gamers, we might think of an “ability” as a special character skill like casting magic or performing a sneak attack. But the word takes on a different meaning for 10 percent of the world’s population or roughly 650 million people because they are disabled — especially if they are gamers.

I recently learned that July is Disability Pride Month. Looking back at my school days, I think it would have been really fun to play video games with my disabled friends.

esports inclusivity disabilities
Image credit: Microsoft

Now that schools as early as K-12 are adopting esports programs, there is no better time than now to include those with disabilities if they want to participate. Esports is giving students a new way to learn valuable skills like communication, teamwork, and appropriate online behaviour. For those of us who were terrible at sports in school, joining the big team wasn’t an option — even less so for students with disabilities — so we all missed out on those fantastic benefits and scholarship opportunities

With esports rising in popularity and awareness, I wish that all of today’s youth would be able to reap the benefits that team esports has to offer and perhaps even build a career out of it if they choose. Esports is not the cure-all for inclusivity in school sports, but
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