This summer, children with disabilities will have a new toy that reflects their reality: a Lego figure that sits in a wheelchair and has a guide dog. The company is making a set called Fun in the Park, and among the figures that it will feature is a little boy who gets around in his wheelchair, his dog at his side. Although this isn’t Lego’s first figure in a wheelchair, the other figure who had one was an elderly man, and the implication was that the chair was only due to age.
Rebecca Atkinson, a London-based disability advocate, recently started a Change.org petition asking that Lego reflect a greater diversity in their toys; the petition now has upwards of 20,000 signatures. She was overjoyed at Lego’s announcement about their new figure, saying, “There are 150 million children with disabilities worldwide….[and often] they’re excluded or misrepresented by the very industry that exists to create their entertainment.” That isn’t the case with Lego anymore. Hopefully this is the start of greater inclusiveness to come with regard to their figure designs.