Recreation: Toys, Games, and Recreation

Play, games, and recreation are important parts of learning for children who are blind or visually impaired, with or without other disabilities. These resources can help educators and family members find the right toys to support and stimulate the cognitive, physical, psychological, and social development of children with blindness or visual impairment.  More information about organized sport and adaptation of specific sports and games can be found in the Education category under Physical Education and Sports.   For a compendium of sports for visually impaired athletes, refer to The Encyclopedia of Sports and Recreation for People With Visual Impairments (Critical Concerns in Blindness). Author Andrew Leibs describes his book as "first consumer-focused guide to the new world of accessible sports and recreation that has exploded during the last decade." The encyclopedia covers sports adaptations, sports specific to the blindness community, and athlete profiles.

Full-Text Articles

Adapted Tennis
Associated Press
Students at California School for the Blind are helping to promote adapted tennis, invented in Japan in the 1980s

Toy Rating System
Toy evaluations by an independent nonprofit agency that fosters play for children with disabilities. The online database rates the toys for suitability for children with cognitive, physical, sensory, or communicative disabilities (searchers may combine two categories).

Deaf and Blind Players Compete in Youth Football
The Morning Call (Lehigh Valley, PA)
Lehigh County Youth Association has opened its rosters to deaf and blind players. Meet Nose guard Gage Dannecker and flag footballer Alonso Hernandez in this 2012 article.

Good Toys for Blind Kids: Suggestions From Parents
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
This list is made up of regular toys that can be purchased through local shops or toy stores. The age categories were those suggested by the parents, not the manufacturer.

Play and Recreation
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCBD)
This section of the DB-LINK website has several articles about play and recreation for students who are deafblind.

Playing Cards and Games After Vision Loss
Some easy ways to adapt your games and playing cards to accommodate players with low vision and braille readers.

Recreation & Leisure Skills
Recreational activity is guided by a student's interests and abilities, and provides social skills development as well as physical activity. Read more about the importance of recreation, as part of the Expanded Core Curriculum, in this web post by Carmen Willings.

Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids
Free Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids lists 85 great accessible toys that are available nationally.

Web-Based Organizations and Resources

All in Play
All in Play is a membership-based online playing card community that provides a range on gaming opportunities designed for players with limited or no vision.  Play solitaire, against a computer, against others, and in tournaments.  Free trials are available and varied monthly plans are offered.  Bella Online posted this review of the website.

Blindside Reviews
Current release movie reviews by Jay Forry provide synopses, critique and accessibility information for fans of all genres.

Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices is a company dedicated to developing affordable learning and assistive devices to help people of all ages with disabling conditions.

National Lekotek Center
The National Lekotek Center is the central source on toys and play for children with special needs. Lekotek uses interactive play experiences, and the learning that results, to promote the inclusion of children with special needs into family and community life.

        Playgrounds for Everyone
        National Public Radio
        NPR maintains a community-edited guide to accessible playgrounds. Over 1000 listed parks and playspaces, including ideas for inclusion within your own neighborhood.

Radio Interviews 
Unfictional, KCRW Radio In the episode "Skating in Darkness," Unfictional interviews individuals with visual impairments about the role of sports and recreation in their lives. Listen on Line or Download this episode by clicking the title above.

Special Needs Toys
Special Needs Toys are providers of carefully selected fun products designed to help you or those in your care enjoy life, and achieve more.