The partnership will kick off with initiatives to improve accessibility and opportunity within Nerd Street Localhost gaming and esports centers  including staff training, visual stories, and more. The partnership will kick off with initiatives to improve accessibility and opportunity within Nerd Street Localhost gaming and esports centers  including staff training, visual stories, and more.

Nerd Street Gamers Announces Partnership with the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity at Jefferson Health to Further Create an Inclusive Esports Ecosystem

by Nerd Street Gamers

PHILADELPHIA, December 16, 2021 Nerd Street Gamers, the national esports infrastructure company, announced today its partnership with the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity at Jefferson Health to further drive inclusivity for all individuals within esports. The partnership will focus on elevating accessibility and opportunity within esports for the autism community. To further cultivate and foster a welcoming environment, Nerd Street and Jefferson will collaborate on procedures, programs and initiatives at Nerd Street Localhost gaming and esports centers to ensure an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurodiverse-friendly esports environment.

Jefferson will provide training to Nerd Street Localhost personnel on ways to address individuals with autism. The team will lead various training sessions through Zoom and in-person at Localhost. In addition, the teams will develop a section for Localhost staff manual on interacting with neurodiverse individuals based on leading-research for all future staff member training.

“Our Center’s goal is for individuals with autism to have the opportunity to participate more fully within the world and develop creative ways to ensure an inclusive environment,” said Wendy Ross, MD, FAAP, Director, at Jefferson Health’s Center for Autism and Neurodiversity. “Across the autistic community, esports is a popular pastime, and through our partnership with Nerd Street and Localhost we hope to ensure they can enjoy it to the fullest. We’re excited to work alongside the team to develop programming and foundational best practices during this pivotal time for esports to showcase the mutual value of both communities joining forces.”

Jefferson will develop takeaway materials – including tip cards – for on-site Localhost staff to easily reference when interacting with gamers with autism. The Jefferson team will collaborate and create visual stories to help Localhost  staff prepare for individuals at any location. Consistency and routine are important and visual stories explaining an upcoming event or situation can help ease anxieties. The materials and stories developed by Jefferson will be used by Localhost at events and venues across the country.  

“Our team is passionate about increasing access and opportunity within esports for individuals of all walks of life - and we are honored to partner with an industry leader and creative force such as the Center for Autism and Neurodiversity at Jefferson Health,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street. “By focusing our initial efforts on developing an inclusive environment across our own Localhost facilities and organization, we can set the foundation for the greater industry and help open more doors for autistic individuals. We look forward to what’s to come through our partnership with Jefferson and learning from this passionate community.”

Beyond Jefferson’s expertise to educate staff on in-person engagement with individuals with autism, the team will provide strategic recommendations on physical infrastructure adaptations Localhost can implement to become more ASD and neurodiverse friendly.

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About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street Gamers (Nerd Street) is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. Through Localhost, its gaming and esports centers across the country, the company provides opportunities for gamers of all ages and skill levels to participate in esports tournaments, camps, team training, private events like birthday parties, and hourly play for a wide variety of video games. Nerd Street has received backing from Five Below, Comcast Spectacor, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, angel investor George Miller, and Founders Fund.

For more information, follow @nerdstreet and nerdstreet.com
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About Jefferson Health
Jefferson Health, home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College, is reimagining health care in the greater Philadelphia region and southern New Jersey. Jefferson’s dedicated team of doctors, nurses, health professionals and staff provides a range of primary to highly-specialized care through 18 hospitals (ten are Magnet®-designated by the ANCC for nursing excellence), more than 50 outpatient and urgent care locations, the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Moss Rehabilitation Hospitals and Magee Rehabilitation and the JeffConnect® telemedicine program. For 2021-2022, Jefferson is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals in seven specialities by U.S. News & World Report. Jefferson Health’s mission is to improve the lives of patients in the communities it is privileged to serve through safe, effective, equitable, compassionate care.


Media Contact:
Olivia Schaller
oschaller@nerdstgamers.com

(609) 351-8493

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