A remote control car operated by a sip-and-puff headset. A voice-operated pitching machine that tosses pop-ups, groundballs and strikes. These are examples of Adaptoys, designed to be used by anyone in the family, including adults or kids with quadriplegia.
“Technology has been such a powerful force for individuals with disabilities. However, there is a void when it comes to technology and accessible toys,” said Peter Wilderotter, president and CEO, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “Adaptoys will help eliminate inequality by reimagining playtime for parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles or aunts who are living with paralysis.”
Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand agrees with Wilderotter. “I have never let paralysis slow me down. However, I look at my nephews and it can be frustrating when they want to play ball and I can’t join the fun,” says LeGrand, a quadriplegic living in New Jersey. “With Adaptoys, I can fully participate with my family and create new memories with my nephews so that they never feel as though their ‘Uncle E’ is sidelined at playtime.”
“As a grandmother, you dream about playing with your grandchildren. But for people living with disabilities, playtime can be isolating and inaccessible. My granddaughter lit up when I was able to race cars with her,” said Donna Lowich, who is also a quadriplegic living in New Jersey. “Adaptoys will allow me to be part of her childhood in a more meaningful way and my only hope is that we can bring these accessible toys to many more families. Everyone deserves to play with their loved ones.”
View LeGrand and Lowich playing with their families using Adaptoys here:
The toys were developed by the tech company Axios in partnership with the advertising agency 360i, and both of those agencies are partnering with the Reeve Foundation in hopes of raising funds to support the research, development and cover production costs for at least 100 adapted remote control cars, which will be distributed to qualified recipients through a random lottery selection.
For more information and to help bring Adaptoys to life for more families, visit adaptoys.org.