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The Ability Center's 'Tech for Rec' closet offers adaptive toy borrowing

Toy rentals are free to those with disabilities who use services of The Ability Center.

TOLEDO, Ohio — You can borrow and test some new toys with The Ability Center's 'Tech for Rec' closet. 

Some of these adaptive items include a switch-adaptive tic-tac-toe game or practical adaptive scissors that allow a user to cut paper and other items if they can't physically hold scissors. Switch-adaptive toys allow users to control the items in ways that fit their learning style - be that a switch with more texture or a switch that requires simple pressure.

The closet has everything from assistive keyboards, a mouse, and other tech gear, to devices like iPads for online learning, and games and plush toys. 

The toys offer kids and adults disabilities-assistive technology for short-term use. Many families borrow them to see if they'd like to buy them later themselves. 

Sarah Heldmann, a youth services coordinator with The Ability Center, explained many of these toys can be expensive. 

"We've had families who were really grateful to borrow and test them first, before spending a lot of money." She explained the toys won't work for every person and every learning disability. 

The Ability Center made the toys available through a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Independent play, leisure activities, and social participation are the primary goals of the adaptive toy selection. The Ability Center will continue to expand this program through funds from donations, grants, and collaboration with organizations.

You can borrow the toys for up to 90 days. You must be a consumer of The Ability Center, and then it's as simple as filling out their online request form

The Ability Center will work with you to set some independent living goals before you take the toys home. 

You can learn more about the new Tech for Rec program in The Ability Center’s upcoming webinar. Local experts will also explain the benefits of assistive technology for youth and adults with disabilities.

The webinar will go live Sept. 24 at 10 a.m on The Ability Center’s website and on Facebook Live. All webinars will be recorded but you must sign up to receive it.

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