Second-annual toy adaptathon gives back to children in the community

John Swanson | Photo Courtesy
NDSU’s Toy Adaptathon collects toys for children with motor and physical disabilities.

Toys and cash donations can be made at the NDSU Main Library

This holiday season, the North Dakota State University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is connecting with Disability Services to give back this holiday season. These NDSU programs will adapt toys to make them more accessible for children with motor and physical disabilities. They will be accepting toys at the NDSU Library through Dec. 7. 

Many of the toys in stores are not accessible to those children with motor and physical disabilities. Mark Coppin, the Director of Disability Services, explained, “because they cannot access the toys, they have to watch others play. We want to change that.” After the toy adaptations, these children will be better able to access their toys and be active players. 

Switch adapted toys can be bought in a store; however, they are often expensive and hard to find. This event will make it easier for those looking to buy toys for a child with a physical or motor disability. Many of the toys that would be great to bring in are those with batteries that have a button to activate or control the toy. 

With the help from the Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society and the NDSU Digital Fabrication Lab, the Computer and Electrical Engineering department will be able to fit the toys with adapters.

These toys will then be adapted for the specific child. The toys will be able to be activated whichever way is best for the child so that they are in control of the toy. “That may be a hand, a foot, a knee, the back or side of the head or even an eye blink,” said Coppin. 

The toy adaptathon also provides opportunities for NDSU students. Students will be able to give back to the Fargo/Moorhead community while gaining real-life experience skills that will benefit them later in their careers. 

Coppin added, “they will be able to have the satisfaction of making a huge difference in the lives of children in the community.”

Donations are also accepted for this event. “We are also accepting toys and cash donations that will be used to purchase toys for children whose families cannot afford to purchase these toys,” Coppin said. 

This event is open to anyone who is looking for a toy to give to a child with a physical or motor disability. People can bring toys to the NDSU Library with a name and contact information to receive the completed toy.

For more information, contact NDSU Disability Services at

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