The Toy Like Me campaign, an initiative to encourage better inclusivity and representation within children’s toys has taken its fight to the next level, developing its own range of wheelchair toys to inspire change and children’s perception of disability.
Journalist, campaigner and the brains behind the Toy Like Me operation, Rebecca Atkinson is hoping that the colourful new take on wheelchair toys – used to carry cuddly animals – will help children better engage with the subject of ‘diffability.’
Atkinson’s toy wheelchairs are currently in the prototype and development stage and have already received positive response from children and parents at testing level.
The aim is for the wheelchair toys will eventually be made available for play at home, in schools or in public facing events such as libraries and galleries.
“We have found that most toy wheelchairs are grey and found in medical sets. They also tend to be unstable when pushed and fall over, which is very frustrating for children,” Atkinson told ToyNews.
“We wanted to make a bright, colourful toy wheelchair which was stable, fast and engages children.”
Atkinson was inspired to launch her Toy Like Me campaign when she noticed an under-representation of diffabilities within the children’s toy sector. Recent research has shown that just three minutes of play with toys such as the one now in development, opens non-disabled children’s minds towards to topic.
“There are 150 million disabled children who rarely see their experience incorporated into the fun of the toy box,” continued Atkinson. “We want to change that and include these children, giving them the play tools to experience reflections of their realities in toy form.”