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My name is Eibhlin and I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). Like all impairments, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome affects everyone differently, for me Ehlers Danlos Syndrome causes me a lot of pain, fatigue and a multitude of other issues. When I was 14 I injured a nerve in my right hand and due to my hEDS it did not heal properly and I developed a painful nerve condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
While my hEDS was challenging it was not until I developed CRPS that I was unable to use my hand for any extended period of time without experiencing extreme pain. I was suddenly unable to do many of the activities I loved to do and I wasn’t able to use generic video game controllers. Gaming was and is a huge part of my life, it is an escape from my chronic pain. I spent many years and a lot of money trying to find an accessible alternative to solve this problem, but I could not find a controller that worked for me.
I just wanted to be able to build my dream controller. I believed that my inability to play games was for no other reason than that gaming was inaccessible and had nothing to do with my disability.
While in search of a solution, I also found many others just like me, who were struggling to play games due to their disability who felt the same.
I never gave up on my mission to play games.
Brandon took the idea of allowing disabled gamers to build their own controller and made it a reality. We combined Brandon’s skills and expertise in biomedical and electronic engineering as well as his knowledge and passion for start-ups with my own personal experiences with the problem and my knowledge of game design, and together we started ByoWave.