(FeaturedNews.com) – A mother had been greatly disheartened when her daughter, Claire, who is a wheelchair user inquired about why they had dolls that could walk, roller skate, and drive but none that used a wheelchair as she did. At the time the mother had found a doll that was supposed to have had a ski accident and came with a wheelchair. She then proceeded to replace the doll with the case and make a doll using the wheelchair in its place. At the time she believed this would be the best that she would be able to do. However, she was not the only person to have this problem.
In 2015, Rebecca Atkinson, who is visually impaired and uses a guide dog for assistance realized that her disability was not reflected in any of the toys her children had. This was when she decided that some of the toys needed a makeover and in order to give them their makeover she over some modeling clay. With it, she created a guide dog for one of her children’s fairies, a hearing aid and vitiligo for a different doll, and even gave one doll a skin condition.
She then proceeded to find Toy Like Me, a non-profit that pushed toy companies to start introducing positive representations of disability into their toys. She added that the reaction to the photos of the child toys they shared had been very positive online and that the toy industry was seeing that a change was necessary.
Since then some of the biggest toy companies in the world have added disability dolls to their lines. In 2018, Playmobil introduced a fully accessible schoolhouse with a disabled student in a wheelchair. In 2019, American Girl introduced a Girl of the Year who has a hearing aid and in 2022 Mattel introduced a wheelchair stuntman with a remote control.
Lego has now also introduced a new addition in the Lego Friends line with eight characters that have a wide range of disabilities both visible and disabled.
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