Toy like me and the world of disabled dolls

So as many of you know I’ve fallen into the world of dolls and toys since Christmas.

As I started thinking about it I googled disabled dolls.

I found some really cool things.

First is that there actually has been a solid effort in recent years to bring diversity to the world of dolls. To realize that kids in wheelchairs, who are deaf, blind, have medical conditions, ETC do need the option to have a doll that represents their condition out there. This is not to say that you would give a disabled doll to someone with a disability just because they share this disability. But just as there are ethnically diverse dolls, dolls with disabilities should be visible and out there to choose to get whether the person has a disability or not.

These dolls are not only good for those who have a specific disability. But for kids who are not disabled as a way to normalize and understand various disabilities. For example if they have a doll with a prosthetic limb and in a wheelchair theoretically if they have experience with that doll, and hopefully a age appropriate discussion along with it, then when they see someone in a wheelchair with a prosthetic limb they will hopefully be less stunned/ unable to accept the idea.

The hope is that these dolls can become common place so that it’s not a big thing at all. I’m hoping years from now I will just be writing about different dolls I come across and will never have to write a disability specific doll post again, just for the purposes of mentioning the subject. That one day it will be as common as ethnically diverse dolls and no one will give the concept a second thought.

We have a long way to go but at least people are making a start.

After typing in disabled dolls and scanning the results I typed in signing dolls.

And found this small awesome business called signing works.

Judy Harrison from CA started making signing bunnies in 2012. These she sent and continues to send to deaf schools and anywhere a deaf child might need them.

As time has gone by she’s continued to create the bunnies as well as several dolls. I love her site.

http://www.signingworks.net/

On here she talks about others who might use Sign language not just the deaf.

And there are many testimonials of people who have loved and gotten so much from having these dolls.

The dolls are handmade with love and have posable fingers and can sign any sign in any language.

Here is a blog that describes more about what she currently has out.

http://signingworksetc.blogspot.com/2011/01/hold-my-hand.html

Her e-mail which I found on her facebook page is signingworks

She’s so kind she’s going to make my doll and donate it to me. She does similar for other instances getting lion’s clubs involved.

Currently she is starting to make soft sculpture dolls to add ethnic diversity and will then update her site to reflect this. I urge anyone who is passionate about deaf advocacy, deaf children getting accessible toys, another way to learn sign ETC to contact her and offer support whether it’s ideas or donations or just wanting to say how awesome her idea is.

I can’t wait to get my doll and review it for you on here. I will make a youtube video with me with it.

PT stuff for physically disabled dolls

http://www.sew-dolling.com/physical_therapy_dollequip.htm

This seems like a great site! Also for things like doll clothes and other things so will hopefully go on and buy stuff when I have the money. Really want the trampoleen but they’re out of stock I think.

Various versions of this article are around

http://www.today.com/parents/british-toymaker-makies-includes-disabled-dolls-t21676

Special angel dolls

http://www.karenskottage.org/SpecialAngel.html

This like Judy’s business seems like it’s home based and could likely use our support. I will be contacting her and will let you know about it.

Toy like me

This is what started everything a couple years ago. A little girl wanted a doll with a prosthetic leg I think it was, so I think her mom made it? Not exactly sure. But it caught on and then you had all these parents who wanted something like it for their children

https://www.facebook.com/toylikeme/

Here’s the toy like me website

http://www.toylikeme.org/

So that’s basically all I could find so far. There are a variety of similar articles but they all lead back to these resources particularly toy like me so if you’re wanting to get into this that’s a good start.

I think there needs to be an accurate representation of a blind child. And not just putting glasses on a doll. Or just having it have a guide dog. I think the doll should have glasses, a cane, and a guide dog. I think there should be a story told from the point of view of the doll about their life and talking about how they use each of those things and in what situations. Or maybe there are several different dolls and one only uses glasses, and I think we should include doll sized magnifiers and a CCTV, and maybe another would use just the cane, or the cane and the dog both.

Though actually I don’t think I’ve heard of kids or teens who have guide dogs though I could be wrong. I know kids can get service dogs.

Anyway this story I think should be in large print and Braille and go through the girl or boy’s lives, not just focusing on the blindness but just talking about the things they like to do their personalities ETC. And showing ways they adapt but not in a flat predictable way.

I would love for there to be something like a doll sized brailler, and doll sized little computer that could have a screen on screen off option. You push one button and the screen is on and kids can hit letter and number keys and they come up on the screen. It would be very simplistic as this isn’t about kids learning to type/ write it’s to show how a blind person would do it. And then you could hit a button for screen off and hear how the computer would speak the letters and numbers. Then screen on so the person could see that what they typed with the screen off was exactly what they could type with it on. I feel this would be the easiest and most simple way to explain a screen reader.

So those are my ideas. And I know it would probably cost huge amounts of money and don’t know at all how practical they are but would love to connect with others and see if one or any of them could work.

I will have way more to say on this subject including reviewing various products. If any bloggers or readers are interested in discussing this further please comment or e-mail nelsonsam68

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