Many Cats Studios and Ukie’s RaiseTheGame industry initiative reveal the hotly anticipated cohort for this year’s Impact campaign during Disability Pride Month.
A celebration of disabled and neurodivergent games talent from all areas and levels of the UK games industry, this year’s Impact cohort were selected by a panel of judges and the Impact team as examples of passion, success and disability advocacy over the course of their careers.
The members of this year’s cohort are:
Inès Robin, Client Developer, Space Ape Games
Li Brady, QA Tester, The Chinese Room
Christopher Leech, PhD Researcher, Edge Hill University
Sadie Jarvis, Community Manager, Raw Fury
Kathryn Vinclaire, Voice Actor, Freelance
Smart Hopewell, Senior Narrative Writer, Freelance
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’ll be offered exclusive opportunities to elevate their platform and visibility, such as a series of digital profiles including a photoshoot to create professional headshots, networking opportunities and attending or speaking at industry events with Many Cats and RaiseTheGame throughout the year presenting opportunities for the industry and public to educate themselves on disability and neurodiversity.
The Impact campaign will debut at Develop:Brighton for a roundtable on Tuesday 11th July at 5pm, where members of the cohort along with the Impact team will present a dedicated roundtable focusing on the importance of representation in making workplaces inclusive for disabled and neurodivergent team members.
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 underrepresented 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 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-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.”