by Lauren Tucker, Ed.D.
The graduate students in Southern Connecticut State University’s Assistive Technology Program participated in an adapted toy workshop this spring to learn how to increase the accessibility for many toys. Unfortunately, many switch-adapted toys are very expensive and have limited options. To learn the process of adapting and to give back to the community, the SCSU Special Education department purchased toys and the materials for graduate students to adapt several toys. SCSU graduate students learned a solder-free method of toy adaptation using lever nuts. They explored the essential components of toy adapting, wiring, and circuitry. After the toys were adapted by the SCSU students, they were donated to ACES Village School in North Haven. As stated on their website, Village School provides collaborative educational, emotional, and physical services to children ages 3 to 14 years with a range of cognitive, physical, behavioral, language, and medical challenges. Village School celebrates the diversity of their student population through innovative and individualized instruction. The teachers and speech pathologists were able to utilize the switch adapted toys in their classrooms for cause and effect activities, teaching motor skills, and recreation! The adapted toys included a spin art activity, a dancing pig, a dancing cactus and more! The SCSU Assistive Technology program is excited to continue their toy adapting workshop in the future semesters. Click here to view a video summary of the workshop class.