Will Reeve, son of the late Superman actor and disability advocate Christopher Reeve, was quite young when his father became paralyzed. He wishes that there would have been more active ways for them to play together, but he’s hoping to help other families get the opportunity he and his dad never had through the creation of accessible toys that are modified so that people living with paralysis can operate them. Adaptoys is currently in its crowdfunding phase, but we think these innovative and accessible toy prototypes are only the beginning of the groundbreaking possibilities that harness the technology available today.
Tech company Axios and advertising agency 360i partnered with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to create two Adaptoys to start, modifying classic and beloved family pursuits that would typically be difficult for a family member who is paralyzed to participate in fully. One is a toy race car that uses the tilt of the head (which is attached to a headset) to make turns and change directions and that incorporates sip-and-puff breathing technology to guide the car forward or backward. The other Adaptoy is a voice-activated pitching system: the person who is paralyzed can say “pitch” or “popup” and the machine responds, making him or her an active participant in the game of catch and playing ball. If the crowdfunding is successful, the Foundation will build at least 100 of the adapted race cars to give to families for free and then eventually pursue the creation of additional Adaptoys as well as mass-marketing the initial versions. Playing with your kids, cousins, nieces, and other family members is a priceless bonding and memory-making experience. Adaptoys provides the tools to include everyone.
Image via Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation