Game On! Valhallan Teams Up With Autism Speaks to Make Esports Accessible to All
Youth esports franchise working with an autism advocacy group to raise money and awareness and create an autism-friendly environment for esports
November 17, 2022 // Franchising.com // HOUSTON, TX - Valhallan announced today the company formed a relationship with Autism Speaks. Through this relationship, Valhallan will raise awareness and funds for Autism Speaks while creating inclusive opportunities for children and adults with autism to participate in esports.
As part of its support for Autism Speaks, Valhallan arenas will have the opportunity to achieve an Autism Friendly designation – the first of its kind in esports. In addition, Valhallan will donate one dollar per month per student to further the mission of Autism Speaks. Valhallan will also raise funds through events such as esports tournaments and participation in official Autism Speaks Walks.
To kick off its support for Autism Speaks, Valhallan will host the “Rise to Ragnarök” competition, the first of an annual Ragnarök youth esports tournament series, on January 14 and 15, 2023. This event will feature free entry for 4,000 players and provide gamers of all backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to compete while raising funds for Autism Speaks.
"As a father of an autistic child, one of the biggest challenges is to find social situations where my son feels comfortable, and Valhallan creates an environment where kids of all backgrounds can connect through their common interests,” said Matt Phillips, brand president of Valhallan. "We’re proud to be teaming up with Autism Speaks to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with autism as we make esports accessible to all."
Valhallan continues to open arenas across multiple countries, creating more spaces and communities for youth players from various backgrounds. Each location will be working toward an official Autism Friendly designation through training that covers autism awareness and strategies for providing first-in-class inclusive service for customers. The brand also intends to create employment opportunities as esports coaches for adults with autism and other disabilities.
“Deeply ingrained in Autism Speaks mission is a commitment to creating a more equitable and accessible world. We’re excited to be working with Valhallan as they share our passion for this vision,” said Keith Wargo, president & CEO of Autism Speaks. “With Valhallan’s support and dedication to fostering understanding and acceptance of children on the spectrum, we are building a brighter tomorrow where all people with autism can reach their full potential.
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