Assistive and Adaptive Toys

Understanding that children with special needs often lack developmental and play opportunities due to limited access to proper interactive toys, Manatee Libraries offers a small core collection of assistive and adaptive tools. Parents or guardians living in Manatee County who hold a Manatee Libraries’ card are invited to borrow these tools at any of our six locations—free of charge for a three-week period.

Stack and Nest Sensory ToyOur collection was developed based on discussions with the Family Network on Disabilities of Manatee/Sarasota’s Executive Director, Mary Smith, and Dr. Louise Boothby. They recommended we purchase manipulatives and devices that address the most prevalent disabilities in our County, encompassing approximately 7,000 children: Speech and language underdevelopment, learning (e.g. gross, fine motor, sensory, cognitive and auditory/visual issues) and autism diagnosis.

These families also are encouraged to meet with our Whole Child Manatee team members, located at 321 15th Street W., who are trained to identify and handle early childhood education, literacy and social service needs and any of our youth librarians who are knowledgeable about these devices and the benefits they provide.

We hope this collection will continue to grow, giving more children the opportunity to use them on an ongoing basis.

The funding for these resources was made possible through the generous donations of our local Library Foundation, Inc.