For many people living with paralysis, spinal cord injuries or other disabilities that don’t allow a lot of body movement, a big frustration for them is that they are not able to physically participate with their able bodied family members. Imagine someone who is paralyzed from their neck down, wanting to play with their young nephews or nieces. Similarly, think of a grandmother, who is in a wheelchair, wanting to pitch ball to her granddaughter who likes to play baseball. In almost all cases, they are just spectators – they don’t get to play with their family members. Instead, they only get to watch them play with others.
Christopher & Dana Reeve foundation is wanting to change that for people with disabilities. The foundation, in collaboration with 360i and Axios, has developed a new line of toys called Adaptoys which are meant for people living with paralysis. These toys have assistive technology built into them that use voice activation, head tilts, and sip & puff technology that allow people to control them. For example, the r/c car they have developed can be powered by wearing a headset that has a pipe attached to it. Sipping and puffing into the pipe makes the car move forward, and tilting the head to the sides makes it change directions, Similarly, another toy, that can pitch balls, can be activated by the person saying “pitch” or “pop up”. The toy will then throw the ball out to the able bodied player.
The foundation is raising money to produce 100 accessible toys for those many individuals. Donations are currently being accepted at their website adaptoys.org. Once their goal is reached and the toys are produced, they would be given to select individuals through a lottery system. If the foundation is not able to reach its goal, the money collected from donations will still be used for improving the quality of lives of people with paralysis.
Watch the video below to learn more about Adaptoys and who they are for.