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This New Line of Toys Is Changing the Lives of People with Paralysis

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I’m always excited when there are new toys and tech being invented to help the lives of people with special needs and disabilities. Because, you know, everyone should be able to enjoy the little things in life, like playtime, whether you’re a kid or adult. In this case, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation partnered with 360i to announce a new line of toys called Adaptoys, which are toy cars that will give people with physical disabilities, such as paralysis, the freedom to enjoy playing with their families.

So, how do the new toys actually work? They have a voice-activated pitching machine and a remote-control car that can be steered using physical head tilts, and features a “sip and puff” system where the user can breathe in or out with force as a way to move the car.

The toys were tested and tried out by Eric LeGrand, who is a former Rutgers University football player who endured a spinal cord injury during a 2010 game that resulted in paralysis, and Donna Lowich, a grandmother of three who is living with quadriplegia. They absolutely loved the experience. LeGrand stated:

“It’s amazing to feel that adrenaline rush again; just gives me another little piece of independence back.”

The distribution of the toys, according to the Adaptoys site, relies on a fundraising campaign from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and 360i. The goal is to raise enough money to produce about 100 remote control cars, which will be given out through a random lottery to people with paralysis.

Lowich, who enjoyed playing with Adaptoys with her granddaughter, has high hopes for the product, saying how it helped her bond with her granddaughter:

“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.”

While it’s hard to say whether these toys will hit it off and be available for a wider audience one day, it’s hard not to love a product with the intention of helping others. Find out more about the toys by watching the video below:

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