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Meet these disabled dolls.

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,494 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2020 in Coffee lounge
As the push for society to become more inclusive gathers pace, one lady has started to sell a range of dolls that have a variety of visible impairments.

Retailing under the brand name Bright Ears UK, Clare Tawell began making the dolls after her own daughter had a hearing aid fitted when she was a baby.  Identifying that the majority of dolls sold came in one standard 'able-bodied' appearance, Clare told the BBC News:

"I'm not doing it to make money.. This is just fulfilling the need that isn't being met... I know first-hand how special and empowering these dolls can be to children."

The inclusive collection of dolls has now grown to include ones with NG tubes, stoma bags, cleft lips and PEG feeding tubes increasing the representation of disabled body types in toys.  This is a great positive step and comes on the back of Lego's launch of new braille bricks.


Row of traditional dolls of different shapes and sizes


Why is making toys more inclusive important?


Making toys more inclusive is important to introduce non-disabled children to different bodies and needs from an early age and help reduce stigma in later life.  

It is also crucial to improving accessibility to disabled children who have previously had to 'fit in' with a toy market not designed for people like themselves.  

What do you think?

  • Would you have wanted a doll like this when you were younger?
  • Do you think it's a good idea to make toys more accessible?
  • How else do you think disabled children's play can be made more inclusive?
Let us know in the comments below!
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Replies

  • 66Mustang66Mustang Member Posts: 3,862 Disability Gamechanger
    I think this is a good idea both for disabled children to have a toy that more resembles themselves, as I can see it being hard being visibly disabled but all the toys being of able bodied people; and for non-disabled children to become familiar with disability. I will admit as a child I was sometimes curious by some of the disabilities mentioned and probably stared when I shouldn't have done. If I had toys like this then these things would have seemed normal to me and I wouldn't have been surprised when I saw different types of disabled people in public.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,494 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks @66mustang, that's it isn't it - it helps normalise the different and I think that can only be a good thing.  
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  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,107 Pioneering
    Agree with everything said here. Hopefully if children can play with dolls and toys that have a variety of appearances, it will help normalise those appearances. That goes for everything, from disability to skin colour and so on.
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  • GrinchyGrinchy Member Posts: 267 Pioneering
    I think its a great idea, get kids understanding a bit more of disabilities, good luck to the lady doing them
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,400 Disability Gamechanger
    Great idea i have seen other dolls representing disabled like ones in a wheelchair or with amputated limbs and prosthetics

    They are important for both able bodied and disabled children, also for those children who have disabled family members

    My son is a lot more aware of disabilities and how to show respect having seen me become disabled

    Maybe when they play with t these dolls and try and make them walk or have to wheel them around they will be more aware of the difficulties it is for disabled
  • WestHam06WestHam06 Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,053 Pioneering
    Hi @Cher_Scope
                                 Thank you for sharing this with us. I too agree with everything that has been said on the thread so far, by having dolls such as these it can support children with disabilities to see and feel disabilities being represented in a variety of ways and can help to educate and start conversations for children who have limited experience of disability. This is a great idea and I wish there had been more toys such as these when I was growing up as I think it could have possibly helped me to feel a little less ashamed and different to everyone else. It's great to see the positive steps being taken to a more inclusive and equal society. Thank you. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,672 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing @Cher_Scope! Most certainly needed!
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