Northern Arizona University Occupational Therapy students, as part of a class learning experience, recently adapted toys for children with significant visual and physical impairments at the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC), 1234 E. Northern Ave. FBC serves the blind and visually impaired of all ages, from birth to currently 103 years old, through education, tools and services.

The students delivered the adapted toys to FBC on Nov. 28, staying to work with some of the children to demonstrate the modified toys.

Occupational therapy students from Northern Arizona University visit with children at the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix, bringing with them off-the-shelf toys that have been modified to meet the children’s needs for operating them (submitted photo).

In their second year of a doctoral program, the occupational therapy students are learning how to assess children’s skills and abilities as well as their limitations in fully engaging in play activities. “Off-the-shelf” toys often require skills that limit or prevent children with visual and physical impairments from using and playing with them. After the child’s skills are assessed, NAU students identify and adapt battery-operated toys that fit the interests of the child and meet their needs for operating them.

“Blind children want to play just like all kids, and with a little adaptation, they can play with any toy,” said Marc Ashton, CEO, Foundation for Blind Children (and a NAU graduate). “We are extremely grateful to the students of NAU for adapting these toys to meet the needs of our kids and helping to brighten their holiday season.”

A total of 13 toys were adapted for children at FBC. This project was made possible by a donation from Jim Bennett at


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