Supporting Special Needs Education

Toys. We think of them as play things, providing fun, but having little value otherwise.

In the Adaptive Toy Library of the Madison-Oneida BOCES Center for Instructional Support, however, toys play a much more powerful role. They change lives.

The library’s collection of nontraditional toys helps special needs students develop motor skills; build cognitive, visual and social skills; and increase their mobility and independence. Not typically available in a retail setting, the toys are used in the classroom and are loaned for home use, extending the learning benefit.

A $4,114 grant from The Community Foundation’s Agnes W. Sweet Fund made it possible for the library to nearly double the size of its toy collection — to more than 85 items. The grant also funded related needs such as batteries, storage boxes and shelves.