December 4, 2023

The Tinkered Toy Box: Creating Holiday Magic

Starting in 2019 after recognizing that children in our community needed to learn switch skills that could translate into other important life skills, the Tinkered Toy Box started as a collaboration between Michigan Medicine and Washtenaw Intermediate School District in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The goal of the Tinkered Toy Box is to give students access to a reasonable way to learn switch skills, and it uses the magic of the holiday season by creating an opportunity for students to learn skills through play that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Jamie Mayo, Tinkered Toy Box Co-Founder and Assistive Technology Coordinator at Washtenaw ISD says, “It’s a lot more than just playing with toys. Kids learn through playing and they’re learning these important skills that they can use in other areas of their life.”

Four individuals sit around a table modifying toys using various tools.

Parents, teachers, and other supportive staff  apply at the beginning of the school year.  This year, Tinkered Toy Box toy applications were open from August 28th to September 17th. 

Tinkered Toy Box relies on donations, local “tinkerers” and community workshops. Several workshops are held to train volunteers who modify the toys. Various community members such as retired engineers, Michigan Medicine students, students from across the county, and WISD staff learn how to modify the toys with switches. Mayo says, “We’re really reliant on generous donors in our community. We’re always amazed at how people come through to help with either donating their time to do modifications or donating money and toys to the program to make it work.”

In the future, the Tinkered Toy Box would like to create space to work with students interested in STEM fields. Mayo says, “We’re hoping to work with STEM students and use these Tinkered Kits and directions as projects for students who are in STEM programs in the county.” More than 30 Tinkered Toys were sent to their new homes in November this year. For more information about the Tinkered Toy Box, you can visit

Two individuals sit at a table and modify toys using various tools

ADA & Accessibility

Our School Strives To Ensure Our Website Is Accessible To All Our Visitors 

Washtenaw ISD is committed to providing a website that is fully accessible and we are currently in the process of developing a new website to better meet the needs of our customers. Our new website will include improvements to ADA compliance and accessibility, and during this transition, we remain committed to maintaining our existing website's accessibility and usability. 

ADA Compliance

Non Discrimination

It is the policy and commitment of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any legally protected characteristic, in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, executive order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent state and Federal regulations.

Non Discrimination Information

ADA and Title IX Coordinator ADA and Title IX Coordinator
Brian Marcel
Associate Superintendent
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1402
Cassandra Harmon-Higgins
Executive Director, HR & Legal Services
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311