Part III: Changing Activities
After making reasonable accommodations to play spaces and positioning so that children with disabilities can access playtime safely and comfortably, there is one last task, and that is to make sure that individual toys and games are accessible.
A popular toy for children is cars. Whether they are operated manually or using a remote control, cars can easily be adapted to promote accessibility to children with disabilities. For manually operated toys, you may consider adding Velcro or small pieces of thick fabric to the bottom of the car to slow its speed and prevent it from getting too far away during playtime. When considering cars that are operated remotely, you may consider switch adapting the car so that the child doesn’t have to use a small joystick to operate the car and can use a large switch (button) instead. Switches promote accessibility by offering different size and placement options and allowing users to control them using various body parts. Many battery-operated toys can be switch-adapted to promote accessibility for children with disabilities.
Another way to adapt activities for accessibility is by using easels and wall space creatively. Sometimes children can’t readily access horizontal surfaces so using an easel to make a surface more vertical could be more accessible. Reading and drawing/painting are two activities that can easily be modified for a more vertical position. You could also use a felt easel and felt storyboard sets to engage in more imaginative play as you would with toys on a horizontal surface.
Finally, check out some adapted video games that also promote accessibility. Xbox manufactures an adaptive controller that makes many video games accessible to children with disabilities. This website, https://specialbites.com/, also offers free online switch games that can also be used on touchscreen devices. For kids who enjoy watching YouTube videos, you may consider switch adapting their YouTube videos using by visiting this link to make promote more independence and accessibility.
Giving children with disabilities the opportunity to engage in playtime grants them the opportunity to participate in crucial childhood development activities. So, make activities accessible and remember to have fun!
TLDR: Promote accessibility to toys and video games by using switch adapters. You can also alter the surface positioning of activities to make them more accessible by using easels. Finally, some toys can be adapted using everyday items found in the home environment. For example, you could attach thick fabric to the bottom of a toy car to slow the car’s movement and prevent it from getting too far away during play. Have fun!