Toys"R"Us today announced the release of the 2015 Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs.
This annual, complimentary publication is available now in Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores nationwide and online, in both English and Spanish, at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled. For more than 20 years, this beloved catalog has been a go-to shopping guide for families in the special needs community, showcasing specially selected toys that aid in the skill development of children who have physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities. This year, Toys"R"Us is partnering with Nick Lachey, father, philanthropist, multi-platinum recording artist and television personality, who appears on the cover of the Guide alongside 5-year old Josephine Gonzalez from New Jersey.
While Lachey has worked on numerous exciting projects around the globe throughout his career, he is most proud of being a father of two and an advocate for children’s causes. Inspired by his brother Zac, who lives with Asperger syndrome, Lachey established the Nick Lachey Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children, families and communities in need within the United States in 2007.
“Children’s causes are a huge passion of mine, so I was honored to collaborate with Toys”R"Us to lend my support to something as special as the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids," said Nick Lachey. “Building on a 20-year reputation of being a beneficial resource for parents and gift givers shopping for special needs children, the Guide is so valuable because it removes the guesswork, providing trusted recommendations of toys that will appeal to a child with physical, cognitive or developmental disabilities.”
“For generations, families have come to Toys”R"Us in search of the perfect toy for their child. With help from the Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, those shopping for children with special needs are able to do so with confidence knowing they’ve chosen an everyday toy that can help aid in critical skill development and foster inclusion," said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund. “We hope this year’s Guide makes it possible for kids of ALL abilities to experience the power play has to help them reach new milestones, while bringing joy to their lives.”
Identifying the Best Toys Based on a Child’s Individual Needs
Because all children are unique, regardless of ability, toys in this catalog are not categorized by disability, gender or age, and are everyday playthings that can be enjoyed alongside siblings and friends. Instead, the Guide pairs toys with icons representing a variety of skill sets, such as Auditory, Language, Social, Creativity and more, helping gift-givers choose toys most suitable for the child they are shopping for.
To identify items that best contribute to the development of children with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities, Toys"R"Us has collaborated with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children of all abilities, to vet each of the toys featured in the 64-page buying guide.
Gift-givers who prefer to shop from home or on-the-go can take advantage of the shop-by-skill option at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled, where they can select a specific skill set to refine their search. The dedicated website also features a special Toys"R"Us App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, providing recommendations for mobile apps, using the same skills criteria featured within the traditional Guide. The App Guide is available to make app discovery and mobile technology accessible to kids of all abilities by identifying apps that help build individual skill sets, and are appropriate for children with special needs.
Tips for Finding #ToysForAll
Throughout the year, Toys"R"Us will leverage its social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, to share toy-buying tips and recommendations found in the Guide, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the cover shoot with Nick Lachey. Additionally, on Wednesday, August 26 at 2pm, Toys"R"Us, along with its special needs partners, including the American Society for Deaf Children, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, Muscular Dystrophy Association and National Lekotek Center, among others, will host a Twitter Chat to provide followers with tips for selecting toys for children with special needs. The company is encouraging fans and followers to join the conversation and support the power of play by using #ToysForAll.
An Ongoing Commitment to the Special Needs Community
Toys"R"Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community through the Toys"R"Us Children’s Fund, which has provided annual grants totaling more than $20 million to numerous organizations that advocate for children of all abilities including, American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy, among others. For more information, please visit Toysrusinc.com/charitable-giving/.