Feb 16, 2022
The NJCAAE Partners with the AbleGamers Charity
National Junior College Athletic Association Esports and The AbleGamers Charity Form New Strategic Partnership
February 16, 2022
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – The National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) and The AbleGamers Charity, whose mission is to create opportunities that enable play, in order to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities announce the formation of a new strategic partnership.
The parties seek to create an effective and efficient relationship focused on producing greater awareness by creating esports and gaming opportunities for students and players with disabilities through AbleGamers and NJCAAE’s partnered online and community-based outreach programs and content.
Both parties plan to program esports initiatives benefiting students and players with disabilities and participate in joint promotional activities focused on 2-year college recruitment, 2-year scholarship and institutional opportunities, and 2-year collegiate esports. Both the NJCAAE and AbleGamers will also incorporate NJCAAE students into training opportunities and support through the AbleGamers network to increase representation and understanding of students and players with disabilities within the gaming community. Finally, the NJCAAE will include AbleGamers in NJCAAE governance for the benefit of students and players with disabilities as well as NJCAAE member institutions.
Executive Director of the NJCAAE, Jeff White, states, “Our excitement to partner with an organization with such a meaningful and powerful purpose and mission is almost unexplainable. We can’t wait to see all that we can achieve with AbleGamers while creating more awareness in the esports space and supporting student gamers with disabilities.”
“We’re excited to partner with the NJCAAE and eager to support their program as they develop the future leaders of esports and the gaming industry. We're looking forward to our partnership and to have them supporting our community initiatives to make gaming and the adjacent spaces more welcoming and inclusive for disabled players,” said, Craig Kaufman, AbleGamers Charity.
About the NJCAAE: NJCAA Esports (NJCAAE), the national governing body for two-year college esports in the United States, is proud to provide two-year college esports teams with governance, competition and official national championships. The governing body also provides guidance and positive development for two-year colleges to build and operate esports programs. Established in the Fall of 2019, the association continues to establish new partner relationships that assist in the growth of esports programs, add new titles for increased participation, and dedicate resources to the recruitment of new members.
The NJCAAE is committed to removing barriers to entry for all participants, including students and member institutions. Through the bring your own device and play from anywhere model, even campuses that are strictly online can offer an opportunity to engage their students for just $1,500. While student engagement is always a priority, it has perhaps never been more important than right now. No one disputes that an engaged student is a student that completes!
The association has experienced phenomenal growth as we enter our fourth competitive semester. Beginning with only 12 teams, the following semesters grew to 28 teams (Spring ’20), 69 teams (Fall ’20), 81 teams (Spring ’21) and a projection of 115 teams and 2,000+ student-athletes in the Fall of 2021. With the ultimate goal of providing a unique and engaging environment for student-athletes nationwide, the NJCAAE is where worlds of opportunity await.
About The AbleGamers Charity; AbleGamers is an organization that aims to combat social isolation and enable play through video games. They provide 1-on-1 peer counseling to people with disabilities wanting to play video games, create and maintain inclusive communities, work with developers and studios to make their games more accessible, and have certified many of the industry's top developers with their Accessible Player Experiences (APX) program.
They have made a long-lasting impact on the gaming industry by highlighting the experiences of players with disabilities, sharing the feedback of their Player Panels, and working with industry leaders to create more accessible gaming technology and experiences.
The non-profit organization was founded in 2004, and continues to grow at an extremely fast pace, doubling in size since 2021. As accessibility is more frequently accepted as a requirement and not a suggestion, AbleGamers plans to continue extending their expertise to expedite the process.
Jeff White, Executive Director of Esports
For The AbleGamers Charity:
Craig Kaufman, Sr. Director of Community & Inclusion