‘Christmas in July’ toy drive to help East Tennessee kids with disabilities

WATE 6 On Your Side partners with East Tennessee Technology Access Center to collect toys to adapt for children with disabilities.

Toy Tech (ETTAC)

Visit WATE 6 On Your Side at 1306 N Broadway from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 to donate toys. We will be spreading Christmas cheer with cookies and a visit from Santa.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – For some children with restricted mobility or who do not have use of their arms, hands, or fingers, playing with the popular toys from the store is not possible.

East Tennessee Technology Access Center looks to solve this problem for their clients by adapting electronic toys with external switches, which are larger and can be used with another part of their body.  The toy adapting is 100% completed by volunteers who work diligently for several months to get the toys done in time for the holidays.  At Christmas time, ETTAC hosts a “Toy Tech” party for the children and their families in which the adapted toys are given away and received with much joy. Knox Makers helps to modify the toys.

ETTAC logo


To help collect toys early so that Santa’s helpers will have time to make the modifications, WATE 6 On Your Side is hosting a “Christmas in July” toy drive.  As these toys are given as gifts to children who may have allergies or other sensitivities, please bring news items.

Examples of types of toys that are easy to adapt for children include:

  • Toys with batteries
  • Soft toys
  • Toys with only one activation point, not multiple buttons
  • Toys that move, have lights or vibrate for children with low vision or hearing loss
  • Toys that can be activated by a downward or outward hitting motion
  • Toys that play current radio hit songs or fun, well known songs
  • Old mp3, iPod or iPad for older kids to play music

Toys below are great toys, but not easily adapated, as each part does something different or the toy requires the child to have fine motor skills to operate:



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