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Students start a project to modify toys for children with disabilities

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-05-11 11:05

About the solution

Engineering and physical therapy students at the University of North Florida (UNF) helped start the Adaptive Toy Project in 2014, an initiative to modify toys for young children with disabilities so they can play.

“The understanding of what each profession brings to the table is a process of learning, negotiation, and respect," says Mary Lundy, co-founder of the program and assistant professor in UNF’s physical therapy program.

The Adaptive Toy Project started because many children with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, are unable to play with many toys.

“Children with impaired ability to play with toys independently often experience a negative impact on their overall development, leading to depression, social isolation and lower quality of life,” Lundy says.

Each child is assessed, and the toy is made customised to fit his or her needs. Customisation is done by students who attach items to the toys, such as arm rails, backrests and joysticks. The finished toys are then distributed to the families.

Once the children have outgrown or no longer play with the toy, the families return them to the program to make them available for other children in need.

“Playing is every child’s right," says Rodriguez, a former engineering student. "Just because disabled children function differently than most does not mean they shouldn’t play, too."

The Adaptive Toy Project is supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

Adapted from: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/college/2015/10/29/student-created-toy-ini...
More information: https://www.unfadaptivetoyproject.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcfpseOvMt8&feature=emb_title

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About the author

Engineering and physical therapy students at the University of North Florida (UNF), USA, helped start the Adaptive Toy Project in 2014, an initiative to modify toys for young children with disabilities so they can play. Mary Lundy is the co-founder of the program and assistant professor in UNF’s physical therapy program.

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