Dolls Like Us

Courtesy Hope Toys.

Let’s face it. Not many people really look like Barbie and Ken.

Fortunately, some companies have begun to make or customize dolls that more realistically represent the kids who play with them. And that includes boys and girls with disabilities, including amputations.

British company Makies began manufacturing custom-designed dolls with disabilities after a Facebook campaign, ToyLikeMe, went viral, which encouraged more diversity in dolls. The company manufactures dolls with various disabilities and impairments. Some of the dolls use assistive devices, including hearing aids and canes.

An Australian company, Hope Toys, also customizes dolls with disabilities so that kids can have dolls more like them. Some also use wheelchairs, walkers, or prostheses.

“I decided to make dolls with disabilities, illnesses, birth defects, etc., so that all children can see a reflection of themselves as a normal, included part of society,” says Maria Kentley, founder of Hope Toys. “My hope is that [this] diverse range of toys and dolls will help all children to accept, understand, and value their rich and varied world and feel a stronger sense of inclusion and acceptance through play. Being different is okay, even if society doesn’t always see it that way.”

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