From the [UK] Daily Mail:
Dolls with disabilities are “hugely controversial” in the UK. Manufacturers say they are designed to help build confidence in youngsters with disabilities, as well as to foster acceptance by other children.
While some parents have welcomed the dolls, like the Down syndrome model at left, others worry that they overemphasize difference and actually serve to isolate children with disabilities.
“To me, creating disabled dolls like these and giving them to a child pigeon-holes the disabled and turns them into something akin to a freak show,” said Sue Farren, whose 14-year-old daughter Rebecca uses a wheelchair.
“It seems as if the disability is being highlighted here, whereas most disabled kids just want to blend in and be accepted for who they are – Rebecca doesn’t even like her disability being referred to.
“Also, it worries me that able-bodied children might treat these dolls as a figure of fun. Life is difficult enough as a disabled child, as Rebecca will testify, without this unwelcome attention.”
- ‘Are disability dolls a blessing or a sick joke?’
- U.S. firm makes dolls with appearance of Down syndrome
(Daily Mail photo)