Women in Games is supportive and encouraging of all initiatives and organisations working in the field of diversity and inclusion in the games industry, so we’re pleased to share the news from Many Cats Studios and Ukie’s #RaiseTheGame on the work it is doing to celebrate disabled and neurodivergent games talent.

The two organisations have recently announced the cohort for this year’s Impact campaign.

The cohort were selected by a panel of judges and the Impact team for outstanding passion, success and contribution to disability advocacy over the course of their careers.

The members of this year’s cohort are:

  •     Smart Hopewell, Senior Narrative Writer (Freelance)
  •     Li Brady, QA Tester (The Chinese Room)
  • Christopher Leech, PhD Researcher (Edge Hill University)
  •     Inès Robin, Client Developer (Space Ape Games)
  • Kathryn Vinclaire, Voice Actor (Freelance)
  •     Sadie Jarvis, Community Manager (Raw Fury)

Cohort members will join #RaiseTheGame and Many Cats as crucial voices in their work championing inclusivity in the UK games industry over the course of the year-long campaign and beyond. They will be offered opportunities to elevate their platform and visibility, including a series of digital profiles with a photoshoot to create professional headshots, networking opportunities and attending or speaking at industry events with Many Cats and #RaiseTheGame. All of these activities are designed to in turn give opportunities for the industry and public to educate themselves on disability and neurodiversity.

In its first ever year, Impact received 82 nominations for the six-person cohort. A large number of submissions were self-nominated, highlighting the importance of creating spaces for an under-represented group to express themselves. Nominations were reviewed and shortlisted by a panel of industry judges, and the Impact team curated the final six members for this year. This year’s cohort members will in turn be an important part of deciding next year’s cohort.

Harriet Frayling, Project Lead for Impact at Many Cats Studios said: There has never been anything like Impact before, which makes it all the more essential as an initiative, to reflect the fundamental reality of working in the games industry as disabled and neurodivergent people – the barriers and the successes in equal measure. The simple fact is that disabled people are here, from all walks of life, from every background and have always been here.

“To really emphasise this, our cohort is an impressively intersectional group from a wide range of disciplines and seniority levels, showcasing the expertise of the cohort and the meaningful visibility and representation that is desperately needed.

Ukie Co-Interim CEO, Daniel Wood said:In our most recent census of the games industry, 23% of people identified themselves as neurodiverse, and 13% of people reported having a physical disability. Campaigns such as Impact are vital for showcasing the unique value and perspectives that disabled and neurodiverse members of our industry bring.

“We’re proud to see the reception that Impact has already, and we’re excited for how this cohort can help increase accessibility for disabled and neurodiverse people who want to enter the games industry.

You can find out more about the Impact campaign here.