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Tigard Comcast's Team Up program adapts 15 toy cars so they can be driven by toddlers with disabilities.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Bethany Sloane, right, co-director of Go Baby Go Oregon, helps a toddler get adjusted into a toy car Tuesday as parents in the background help their daughter strap in.Three sets of toddlers packed into their adaptive toy cars Tuesday and proceeded to zoom around the parking lot at Comcast's regional headquarters in Tigard.

Using the accelerator on the steering wheel to propel them forward or having their parents use a remote control to guide the car, the trio drove the red vehicles through their paces, thanks to the efforts of employees of Comcast of Oregon/Washington.

A total of 47 employees helped assemble 15 adaptive toy cars for the Portland chapter of Go Baby Go, a national research-based program that provides ride-on toy cars and other adaptive items for children with disabilities.

"This is the first time partnering with Go Baby Go and this was actually one of our first in-person projects since the pandemic, so we're kind of excited to get to do an in-person event," said Rebecca Brown, senior director of community impact. "It was very meaningful for our employees. There was a lot of excitement … just reconnecting again, and to get the opportunity to give back to our community in this way."

She said Comcast employees spent about two and a half hours assembling the vehicles — well below the normal time required, she was told — in the parking lot of Comcast's Tigard Business Center on Southwest 68th Parkway.

That included putting the wheels on the toy cars and installing the needed electronics, which included moving the wiring for the car's acceleration peddle from the floor to the steering wheel so that all children had to do was push a large button on the steering wheel to their vehicles move.PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A 2-year-old tries out the new adaptive toy car she received Tuesday at the Comcast regional headquarters in Tigard after employees help put them together for Go Baby Go, a national organization that helps distribute adaptive toys and books. The girls parents helped her steer the car via remote control.

They also helped assemble elevated seats — something that involved the clever use of PVC pipe — and installed supportive cushions as well.

The employees were part of Team UP, part of a Comcast resource group that contributes to community projects.

A Bethany-area family, whose 2-year-old daughter was driving one of the new cars, said she was enjoying her new automobile and was excited to try it out.

Go Baby Go was founded at the University of Delaware by Cole Galloway in 2012. The Oregon chapter of Go Baby Go began eight years ago.

"We adapt cars and toys and books for kids with disabilities to make them more accessible so kids have more opportunity for play and (to engage in) social relations and participation," said Bethany Sloane, co-director of Go Baby Go Oregon.

She said Go Baby Go is a community-based organization that includes representatives from a variety of area hospitals and includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, parents, engineers and more. PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - A line of brand new adaptive toy cars sit in a row at Comcasts Tigard parking lot, ready to eventually be distributed throughout the state.

While three sets of parents/caregivers came with their children to receive the vehicles in person, the remaining 12 vehicles will be distributed to toddlers throughout the state, said Sloane.

The adaptive toy cars, which retail at an average of $200, can be purchased off the shelf at most toy or department stores or can be purchased online as well.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's test drives went well.

"It went amazing. Really great," said Sloane, who is also a pediatric physical therapist, said about the program where parents whose children have disabilities can seek an adaptive car of their own. "Anyone can apply. We are a nonprofit. We're all volunteers and donation-based so we do fundraising to fund the cars for the kids."

Visit GoBabyGoOregon.org to download an application or donate.PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Comcast employees assembled the adaptive cars for Go Baby Go in their Tigard parking lot. The employees were part of Team Up, employee resource groups that help out the community.


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