AT Act Programs Loan Toys!

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Know a child who might enjoy an adapted toy?

A little boy wearing oxygen tubing sits on the floor using an adapted Xbox controller and switch. A little girl kneels next to him holding a conventional controller.
“Carson” with an XBOX adapted controller on loan from the Colorado AT Act Program.

Toys can help all children learn and grow. Young children with disabilities, however, are sometimes locked out of all the fun … and also important developmental opportunities.

Enter the short-term device loan program of your State or Territory AT Act Program!

Last year, “Carson” wanted in on the action. He’s the youngest in a large family that loves to spend time together gaming, especially during this time of COVID-19-related isolation. At just two years old, Carson enjoyed watching but had declared he was ready for more.

Since he was already learning to use two-step scanning skills with games on a computer, his parents asked his Early Intervention therapist if there were a way for him to play XBOX as well. An AT consultant for Early Intervention spied the XBOX adapted controller in the Colorado Assistive Technology Act Program’s device loan library. Carson loved it!

No longer just an observer, Carson could now practice switch skills as an active family member doing what they all enjoy together. After the loan period ended, Carson’s family was able to purchase an XBOX adaptive controller with confidence because they knew it worked well for him.

Carson has been gaming ever since.

A young girl activating a switch-adapted toy.
MonTECH, the Montana AT Act Program, provided toys for Kinsley to borrow (and blogged about it!)

“Lending libraries”–as the program inventories are often called–stock toys designed or adapted for individuals who need switch-accessible play. They also stock a variety of switch types so that just about anyone can turn them on and off and access the toy’s features. Many programs additionally include equipment for accessible gaming such as adapted controllers for Xbox.

AT Act Programs may also organize (or benefit from) toy hacking events that take place in the lead-up to the holidays. These are like mini Santa workshops where volunteers switch-adapt battery-powered toys. ND Assistive recently posted an opportunity to request switch-adapted toys from a planned NDSU Holiday “adapt-a-thon.”

Learn more about adapting toys:

Adapt A Toy For the Holidays (Yes You Can)

12 Adaptive Gaming Controllers for Disabled People

Find Your State or Territory AT Act Program