Microsoft Israel R&D donates accessible Xbox consoles to ALYN Hospital

The donated Xbox consoles and laptops will make it possible for the hospital's children to play and continue with their rehabilitation despite their severe conditions, and to communicate remotely with teachers and caregivers

JERUSALEM, July 21, 2020 — (PRNewswire) — As part of ALYN Hospital's initiatives to promote assistive technologies, innovation, and accessible services for children living with a wide range of disabilities, they launched a collaboration project that reached its apex over the last few days. The hospital has proudly partnered with numerous startups and hi-tech companies, providing a professional clinical perspective on different technological developments around the country. The hospital approached the team at Microsoft, who developed The Xbox Adaptive Controller and asked them to help the children receiving treatments at the hospital or those with difficulty attending treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft Israel R&D got to work, and this week ALYN Hospital was visited by Yaron Galitzky, who is responsible for the Xbox Adaptive controller development, who brought six packages to donate to children at ALYN. Each package contained an Xbox, an adaptive controller, a laptop, a subscription for Xbox game packages, Microsoft Office, and a variety of games, creative programs, and other surprises.

Galitzky, who is currently in Israel, met with Dr. Maurit Beeri, Director General of ALYN Hospital, and Arie Yekel-Melamed, who manages the hospital's innovation initiatives. Together, they spent the day going from one hospital bed to the next and from house to house to install the systems for the children and adapt the controllers to each child's needs, with support from one of ALYN's occupational therapists.

Among the lucky children who received donations are 12-year old Lina and 10-year old Yael, both of whom are bound to a wheelchair due to a severe muscular condition that leads to loss of muscle function while maintaining high cognitive function.

Yaron Galitzky currently serves as General Manager of Microsoft Accessories, as well as managing development projects for the Microsoft Surface. Yaron is responsible for the development of the Xbox Adaptive Controller that makes Microsoft's gaming console accessible for gamers with limited mobility. The controllers are already used at ALYN Hospital as part of the VR & gaming programs that contribute and advance rehabilitation.

Arie Yekel-Melamed, the hospital's innovation manager, explained the importance of the event: "ALYN Hospital, together with technological entities, has led the development of many products that improve rehabilitation, quality of life, and daily inclusion for children with disabilities. We thank Microsoft Israel R&D, both for their important contribution to ALYN's children and for being a role model for startups by implementing inclusive design to make it possible for products to be used by people with disabilities.

Yaron Galitzky explained that: "The use of gaming in rehabilitation is more and more common, incorporating physical components relating to coordination and hand function, as well as mental and social aspects -- the moment a child plays, they are no different from anyone else. When they play and enjoy themselves, they build the confidence that they can do other things." Galitzky added that, "We continue to support the integration of the Xbox Adaptive Controller and bring it to more and more  gamers, and our work with ALYN Hospital over the last 3 years is a great example of what we can achieve. In addition, we are using inclusive design approach and are integrating more and more accessibility features and capabilities in every product that we develop, on both hardware or software, including the Surface devices and Microsoft accessories. Our partnership with ALYN hospital allows us to bring happiness, joy and quality of life to everyone."

For more information on the Innovation Space and how you can get involved, please contact

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Company Name: ALYN Hospital
Noa Arad Tel: 972-2-6494317 | Mobile: 972-50-6203827

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