Though there are now dolls modeled after children with disabilities, there aren’t any toys on store shelves that can be used specifically by children with severe disabilities.

That’s why two University of North Florida professors started the Adaptive Toy Project three years ago.

The program puts physical therapy students and engineers into a laboratory so they can recreate and adapt regularly manufactured toys to suit the needs of special needs children. While simultaneously providing youth with the tools needed to play, it gives the students valuable experience and inspiration.

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Since someone with cerebral palsy might not be able to open their hands and grab a toy car’s steering wheel, an ATP worker rewired the circuity so it could be steered by a push button. They also replaced the seat with a safer foam-padded strap-in chair.

Though these customizable toys could easily cost thousands of dollars, 18 families have already received them for free thanks to a five year grant from the National Institutes of Health.

(WATCH the video below)


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