Tar Heels modify toys for children with disabilities

A new student group called Carolina Adapts Toys for Children with Handicaps is working to “catch” the kids who fall through the cracks of the mainstream toy market.

Many kids will be getting new toys this holiday season. But for some families, the mainstream toy market doesn’t fit their children’s needs.

A group of Carolina students are working to solve that problem.

Founded last spring by a group of biomedical engineering students Drew Mcracken, Michael Weaver, Maddie Dyson and Delany Cowart, Carolina Adapts Toys for Children with Handicaps is a student group whose goal is to “catch” the kids who fall through the cracks of the mainstream toy market.

“We think that toys are a vital part of a kid’s learning foundation and problem-solving skills,” Mcracken said. “Our mission here is to keep a disability from defining a child’s ability to be a child.”

Group members take toys apart and solder in a new method of actualization — like a button or a switch that can be attached to a wheelchair or a hospital bed — so that children with various disabilities can still play with them.

Last semester, they donated 10 toys to Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, and this semester, they set a goal of 50.

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