Angela Bair’s adapted toy library is becoming a reality

At Accelerate 2018, Angela Bair pitched her idea for a library that makes educational and therapeutic resources for children with special needs accessible to parents, caregivers, educators, and professionals.

In conjunction with Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, who will house the library, she completed a workshop provided by RePlay for Kids, an area nonprofit that specializes in adapting toys to be used by children with disabilities. They had a team of 14 people (staff and volunteers) who learned to take toys apart and solder adaptive components onto them. The workshop aimed to achieve two objectives:

  1. Educate our children and collection development staffs on how adapted toys work.
  2. Construct a start-up collection of adapted toys.  This included added switches suitable for kids with physical disabilities who cannot use the small controls typically found on toys.

They are currently working to package and catalog them for library use.

One of the biggest challenges they foresee is connecting will the toys with the kids who need them. They are currently exploring partnerships with other local organizations to help build awareness and make connections. Current partners include the Lake County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Willoughby-Eastlake Schools, and Lake Health.