OXNARD, Calif. - Dwire School in Oxnard and a group of Navy engineers joined forces to design toys for children with disabilities.
Dwire School serves students with moderate to severe disabilities from preschool through fifth grade.
The school teamed up with electronics engineers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division to create toys students can operate on their own.
The engineers started with a variety of off-the-shelf toys that move, light up or make sounds when their button is pressed. Then, they added a connector where a large external push-button can be plugged in. Students who lack the motor skills to press the toy’s original button have a much easier time pressing the big button to turn on the toy.
Thursday, Santa and Mrs. Claus presented the modified toys to the students.
And it doesn't end there.
Navy electronics engineer David Veloz, who figured out how to adapt the toys, trained school staff so they can modify more toys on their own and bring even more joy to kids with special needs this holiday season.