Special Needs Now

Adaptoys Let People Living with Paralysis Join the Game

These adapted versions of popular toys allow people with physical disabilities to play with their families.

adaptoys Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation/YouTube
If I were paralyzed tomorrow, there are many things I'd miss, but not being able to easily play with my children would break my heart. Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down during a game six years ago, feels the same way.

"I have never let paralysis slow me down," says LeGrand. "However, I look at my nephews and it can be frustrating when they want to play ball and I can't join the fun.

Luckily for LeGrand and the millions of other Americans like him who are affected by paralysis, play just got a bit easier thanks to Adaptoys. Adaptoys are "adapted versions of popular toys that allow people with physical disabilities to experience the joy of actively playing with their families." Adaptoys were created with the help of the Christopher and Diana Reeve Foundation, and they're changing lives in fun, delightful ways. The toys are equipped with "voice activation, motion sensors and sip-and-puff (SNP) assistive technology."

As you can see in this video, LeGrand now can race remote control cars with his nephews using sip-and-puff technology!

In order to bring Adaptoys to more families nationwide, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to "support 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. The more successful the crowdfunding effort, the more toys will be produced and families will be reached."

Jamie Pacton lives in the Pacific Northwest where she writes middle grade and young adult fiction, drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons. Find her at www.jamiepacton.com, Facebook, and Twitter @jamiepacton.