A British doll maker has launched a series of custom-made dolls that carry a number of accessories associated with disability. The intention of the company is to make children feel more included, rather than different from others.
The recently launched line of special toys includes dolls with birthmarks, hearing aids, glasses and walking canes. The manufacturer, Makies, plans soon to add a doll that uses a wheelchair. Since the launch of the toys, the company has been flooded with requests for other customized dolls. However, the company is still considering which options and features to include next.
The launch was a response to a Facebook campaign called “Toy Like Me,” started by Rebecca Atkinson, Karen Newell and Melissa Mostyn. Atkinson grew up wearing hearing aids while Newell is a mother of a son with a visual impairment. Mostym has a daughter who has cerebral palsy.
"In just the past few days we've received hundreds of suggestions and requests for Makie dolls with the new inclusive accessories, which is just amazing, and we're rising to meet that need," said Matthew Wiggins, chief technology officer at Makies. We're knuckling down now on making the whole range directly available to purchase from mymakie.com, as well as kicking off new development work that we hope will lead to many more happy kids and parents."
The Facebook campaign intends to make the “different” children feel more comfortable and included. The online page depicts the toy makeover submissions that the parents of disabled children send, in an attempt to have a toy that represents their child. The campaign has reached out to all small and large toymakers to produce inspiring dolls that represent children with disabilities.