Hargrove Adaptive Toy (HAT) Project

The Need

From blindness to Autism and Cerebral Palsy, mobility limited children have great, and often, untapped potential. By empowering a mobility limited child with the ability to move around in space and manage their environment they can experience:

  • Improved understanding of spatial relationship
  • Social development
  • Motor Skill development
  • Language development
  • Additional development of cognitive skills

Beyond the amazing potential for each of these children, there is a very practical need. Major insurance companies require proof that each child has the ability to operate a motorize wheel chair before costs can be covered by insurance.

Motorized wheel chairs are not readily accessible by physical therapists.  Additionally, physical therapists cannot dedicate time to teach the skills required to operate a motorize wheel chair as each child has multiple needs that must be addressed during office visits.

Adaptive toy cars are a viable training solution for mobility limited children that allows access to a tool to develop the skillsets needed to independently operate an electric wheelchair.  The adaptive toy car can be used in homes, at schools and Physical Therapists offices.

The Solution

Enter, EMMA, the Engineered Machine for Mobility and Access.  Named in honor of the HAT Project’s first recipient, Emma Pablo, Hargrove adaptive toy cars are practical alternatives for use as training tools. 

Multiple adaptations for control can be made to an EMMA in order to meet the needs of each child. Adaptations include controls like hand buttons/switches, a joystick, or head switches, much like the variations available in motorized wheel chairs.

HAT Project 2017 & Beyond

In 2017, the HAT Project will produce 10 EMMAs out of the Hargrove Mobile, AL location.   The EMMAs will be awarded in the Spring and Fall to selected recipients.  The adaptive toy cars will be given to the recipients at no cost.  The HAT Project will expand to other Hargrove Office locations in the coming years.

How to Apply

Physical Therapists, with parental consent, can submit applications potential users. Recipients will be selected on a bi-annual basis.

Applications will be accepted through March 15th for the Spring recipients and July 31st for Fall Recipients.  Applications are valid for one calendar year.

Do you know someone who would benefit from the HAT Project?  Applicants should be elementary and middle school aged children.  Here is a simple 2 step process to get them started!

STEP 1:  Parental/Guardian Consent Form (Click Here)

STEP 2:  Physical Therapist Recommendation (Click Here)