The Toy and Technology Library in association with the Ohio State University Medical Center is a lending library for adaptive toys for children with special needs. Adaptive toys traditionally are more expensive than standard toys. By providing a free toy-lending service, parents can try out toys prior to purchase and work with a therapist to create an educational play environment.
Toy lending libraries are ideal additions to biomedical libraries in children’s hospitals, and have actually been around for decades in numerous countries. The University of Nottingham’s Toy Library was founded in 1970 while researching the development of play in children with disabilities, and remains active today. Child development case studies are taken when a family applies for membership; and both children and parents are provided with education and referrals to support the entire family. (1)
AbleData also provides lists of regional, national, and international resources and conferences. A searchable assistive technology literature library includes links to thousands of publications on 45 different topics, along with downloadable fact sheets on each major category of assistive technology. One of the more interesting documents on the site is their Guide to Indexing Terms, which is helpful in researching information both on the AbleData site and other databases.
AbleData is an excellent resource for biomedical librarians not when considering assistive technology purchases, but also as an informative resource referral for clinicians and patients alike.