Pinball EDU was founded in 2014 & offers an inclusive arcade called “Spinners” that’s open to the general public, schools, educators, caregivers, and other service providers for kids & adults with special needs. 

Pinball EDU is a registered 501(c)(3) charity & our mission is to utilize pinball & other gaming for the social enrichment, skill development and education of kids and young adults.

 
 

 

WHY PINBALL MATTERS...

Pinball provides significant opportunities to target &  impact critical development skills including social-emotional, communication, gross & fine motor, coordination as well as visual motor skills.

By constructing a welcome distraction from the traditional demands of therapeutic exercise, pinball helps engage a child in active play & has been shown to improve behavior such as turn taking, sportsmanship, being more tactful, goal setting, strategy-shifting (for example, learning how to play “safe” vs. taking a risky shot), increase in tolerance thresholds, improving coping strategies, & building confidence as well as community around a common interest.

Being in an immersive gaming environment also offers caregivers the chance to observe & document experiences in a safe, public setting to help note, track & decrease maladaptive behavior.     

OUR WORK...

Spinners Pinball Arcade is a Certified Autism Center (by the IBCCES) & acknowledged as a natural part of Frederick’s inclusion community. A child with ASD or other sensory or social challenges faces unique obstacles & barriers. Spinners offers a safe space for social opportunities & enrichment where even those not participating enjoy the communal aspects of gaming. By uniting around a nostalgic, family-friendly activity of interest (pinball & other gaming), we can successfully support caregivers & members of our community as they grow & develop.

COMMUNITY NEED…

Autism is an under-served population & in a world where medication is often the answer, pinball offers an alternative. Our adaptive, inclusive environment allowed us, in 2018, to serve over 9,200 visitors, including 800 families & more than 400 individuals with ASD & other sensory & social challenges as well as their caregivers.

 

 

WHAT YOUR DONATION PROVIDES...


As a product of the tremendous support from our community, Spinners permits us to continue to demonstrate pinball’s effectiveness in developing crucial life skills such as hand-eye coordination & making friends. We are granted the ability to initiate engaging the local community in data collection & research to validate the use of pinball for STEM education & therapeutic intervention. As a direct result of donations from our supporters, we are able to supply a safe, judgement free, inclusive family arcade as well as pilot after-school & week day programs for local youth & adults in need.

THE FUTURE OF PINBALL EDU...

We’re looking forward to offering a variety of new programming this year, including:

     - YMCA summer camps 
     - Inclusive recreational leagues
     - A sensory room
     - Day and after school activities
     - A destination for Day Programs
     - Job readiness programs 

We are equally eager for the opportunity to partner with other local businesses & organizations to host events that will engage the general public in awareness & outreach.

 

 

GET INVOLVED…

PLAY MORE PINBALL...

It’s that simple! Every time you enter Spinners you’re directly contributing to our mission.

Your admission fee goes straight to our programming & continues to keep our space accessible to everyone in our community. 


DONATE A GAME...

All of the games you play at Spinners are provided by a local collector group that believes in our mission as well as game donations from someone like you! Pinball EDU does not purchase games with donations. If you or someone you know has an unused or broken game that’s long forgotten in the basement, we want to give it new life! Your game donation will allow us to continue to provide a constant stream of new stimulation for our visitors that will encourage them to return time and time again.

LEARN...

We’re more than just an inclusive arcade, we’re an education center! When you volunteer with Pinball EDU, you’ll have unlimited opportunities to learn the ins & outs of restoring & repairing coin-operated games directly from those with years of experience as well as fellow enthusiasts.


WIN A PIN…

If you’d like to contribute even more, you can enter to win your very own, brand new Stern pinball machine!

Winners are selected each month!

 

 

OUR FOUNDER...

 
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Joe Said is a certified autism specialist (by the IBCCES) who has an extensive background in assistive technology & has been a pinball fanatic for most of his adult life.

Seeing how pinball has changed peoples lives like Robert Gagno (see the movie Wizard Mode) he believes that it can positively impact children, adults & families in a profound way.

Joe’s vision is to see community centers like Spinners all over the country.