The AblePlay ratings provide a snapshot of a toy's appropriateness relative to specific disabilities. They make it easier for parents and family to choose specific toys for their child.
Lake Bluff, IL (Vocus) February 18, 2009
Chelsea and Scott, Ltd., parent company of the One Step Ahead and Leaps and Bounds children's catalogs, has partnered with the National Lekotek Center, the leading not-for-profit authority on play for children with disabilities, to offer a unique toy selection geared to kids with special needs.
According to government statistics, there are more than six million kids with disabilities in the U.S., which translates to more than 13% of the child population.
"All kids love new, cool, fun toys, and that includes kids with disabilities," says Jennifer Smith, Merchandising Director at One Step Ahead.
"But it's not always easy to find, let alone choose, the right toys for a child with special needs. Our AblePlayTM toy collection simplifies the process."
These are toys all kids can benefit from and play with, says Smith. However, they've also been rated by play experts in the area of special needs regarding their suitability for kids with disabilities.
"Different toys emphasize different skills," explains Raiko Mendoza, Director of Business Development at the National Lekotek Center in Chicago.
"The AblePlay ratings provide a snapshot of a toy's appropriateness relative to specific disabilities. They make it easier for parents and family to choose specific toys for their child."
AblePlay toys are rated on a scale of one to five stars in four disability categories:
- Physical disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy
- Sensory disabilities, like hearing/vision impairments and Sensory Integration Disorder
- Communicative disabilities, including Autism and speech delays
- Cognitive disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, ADD, and learning disabilities
At OneStepAhead.com, parents can easily review each toy's AblePlay rating and description. Even parents of kids who don't have special needs can use the ratings as a toy selection tool.
Chelsea and Scott designs many of its own exclusive products, including developmental toys that were submitted for AblePlay testing. The toys scored so well, the company included them in their AblePlay collection.
According to experts, the appeal of AblePlay toys is that they're inclusive. In other words, these are the same exact toys kids will find at a friend, cousins, or neighbor's house.
There are a growing number of kids with disabilities in the U.S. And when it comes to play, says Mendoza, "they want to be included in the same way as everyone else."
About Chelsea & Scott
Chelsea & Scott Ltd, parent company of One Step Ahead and Leaps and Bounds, specializes in high-quality, hard-to-find products for babies and children. Founded by two parents who wanted the best for their own children, Chelsea & Scott rigorously pre-tests its products and designs many unique toys and parenting solutions.
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