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These Women Invented a Toy That Truly Includes Every Child

May 16, 2014
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These Women Invented a Toy That Truly Includes Every Child
Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon, two Rhode Island School of Design grads who are making toys for kids of all levels. Increment
The O Rings are tactile toys for kids. Increment
Design grads Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon's O-Rings bring kids of all abilities together.

Toys are not created equal.

Just look down any aisle at your local Toys “R” Us. From Hot Rods to Barbie dolls, finding a toy that’s appropriate for the kid in your life is difficult enough — even more challenging if that child has special needs.

Enter Maeve Jopson and Cynthia Poon, Rhode Island School of Design grads who started Increment, a company dedicated to creating toys that fit all kids, especially children with physical impairments.

Their first product, O-Rings, includes four colorful, stackable rings of different sizes, weights and textures. Watch the video below. Kids of all abilities and ages can play with them in games from ring tosses to obstacle courses.

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The O-Rings were inspired by a girl named Megan, who is blind and has other motor impairments that impact her balance, according to the company’s IndieGogo campaign. Megan had difficulty playing with toys with her seeing friends.

It’s a problem many kids with disabilities face — they want to socialize with their peers, but the proverbial playing field remains uneven. And young children may not understand how they need to change their play to include other kids who have different skill sets.

Jopson and Poon consulted children, parents, teachers and therapists, and created a toy that won Megan’s approval.

“We have seen the amazing benefit [the toys] have had on kids, families, communities, and the culture of learning in Rhode Island,” the team writes on this Awesome Foundation post. “We strive to create products that have a similar impact, and we believe in bringing inclusive play and accessibility into the heart of the massive toy market.”

The duo, recently featured by Women You Should Know, hopes to raise $30,000 to produce the first 150 sets of O-Rings. They envision eventually creating an entire line of inclusive toys.

Looks like there may be one toy that’s created equal after all.

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