The Inclusive Community-Based Learning lab (iCBL) at OSU was recognized in the March 2021 edition the Good Work publication by the Kenan Institute For Ethics at Duke University. ICLB is led by Professor David Delaine, and the group has conducted research based on many service-learning organizations including TAP.
Community engaged learning has demonstrated educational benefits and is an especially promising method to engage a diverse group of students in engineering. In this work, we present toy adaptation for children with disabilities as a novel community engaged learning tool. According to students surveyed, this process is enjoyable, demonstrates the impact of engineering, and makes students feel more connected to engineering. Female students were especially impacted by toy adaptation, feeling more empowered by the experience, finding the experience more useful, and more often seeing the positive impact of engineering. Additionally, toy adaptation is highly translatable due to its short-term nature, low cost, and opportunity to leverage community connections through existing networks. Given the widespread need for adapted toys, the translatability of toy adaptation, and the overwhelmingly positive student feedback, we anticipate that toy adaptation will engage students in circuitry, inspire diverse students to pursue engineering, and provide developmentally essential toys to communities.
“ECE Toy Adaptation Program,” submitted by MSU Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Jean Mohammadi-Aragh, was recognized for a Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning Award. The program was based on collaboration with OSU TAP. Congratulations to Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh!
The Toy Adaptation Program is thankful for all of our previous interns who helped to provide toys for children with special needs throughout the years. One such intern, Emily Curtiss, is continuing this work despite graduating from OSU and leaving TAP in 2019. This holiday season, she adapted toys and donated them to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in lieu of being able to assist at our annual Toys for All Tots event. You can read a local 10TV news story about her efforts here! Thanks for all that you’ve done and continue to do, Emily!
Due to COVID-19, this fall semester is going to look different than normal for TAP. While we will not be holding our typical events and workshops, we are still working on making an impact! Our TAP intern team is currently working on adapting toys which will all be donated directly to families (in a safe manner). Additionally, make sure to check out our At-Home Adapting page to learn how to adapt a toy for someone in your family or someone you know. Stay Safe Everyone!
We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy in these difficult times. Because of the ongoing pandemic, all of the Toy Adaptation Program’s events for the spring semester were cancelled or postponed. However, if you are still interested in learning how to adapt a toy, we have created an instructional page on our website for that exact purpose. The “At-Home Adapting” page provides information about adaptable toys, necessary materials, and step-by-step adapting instructions. Please feel free to check it out if you have the time and reach out to us with any questions you may have.
The Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Organization (SLP-GO) at Ohio State participated in a TAP workshop on February 13th. As students and workers in the field of speech-language pathology, they understood the need for adapted toys and were excited to learn to do it themselves. Together, they adapted 4 toys!
TAP collaborated with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to hold the annual Toys For all Tots on December 8th. 75 families were invited by Nationwide Children’s Hospital to come learn how to adapt toys for their own children. Along with teaching families how to adapt toys, over 180 adapted toys were donated. Families were also given kits which contain all the supplies needed for them to adapt toys at home.
On November 15th, 9 Bridgeway Academy therapists and teachers came to OSU for a workshop with TAP. Bridgeway Academy is a local school for children with special needs. Together they adapted 6 toys that will be integrated into their school programs. Another 9 toys will be adapted by the TAP interns and donated to Bridgeway Academy in the next couple months.