Long Beach Unified School District speech pathologist Emily Perez-Yi joined forces with her colleagues, parents and students recently to fuse and solder wires during a two-day “hack-a-thon,” installing buttons or switches on dozens of battery-operated toys to make them accessible to students with disabilities.
The self-named “Toys4All” group of volunteers adapted the toys for students in the school district’s Specialized Health Care Program. For many of these students, fine movements like a pinching motion using the thumb and index finger can be difficult due to severe motor impairments. Adding buttons and switches makes the toys more accessible.
The two-day event happened at Alvarado Elementary School and Buffum Total Learning Center. All of the adapted toys were wrapped to be given to students for the holidays.
Many of Perez-Yi’s colleagues are part of the school district’s Assistive Technology Team, also known as the “A-Team.” These professionals provide access to education for students with disabilities through the use of technology and tactile tools, meeting with teachers and parents to help them problem-solve and determine the most ideal educational experience for students with disabilities.
View a recent Board of Education Workshop presentation on Assistive Technology.