An arts and play based not-for-profit celebrating diff:ability representation in children’s toys
“As someone who had grown up wearing hearing aids, I remembered first hand how it felt to be a child who never saw themselves represented by the mainstream and what that can do to a child's self esteem,” says Rebecca Atkinson.
Wanting to bring about a toy box revolution, the journalist and creative consultant began giving diff:ability makeovers to standard toys and taking pictures with the help of photographer Beth Moseley, encouraging fellow parents to do the same.
Their images of Lego cowboys equipped with wheelchairs and Tinkerbell dolls with cochlear implants went viral and, together with former Ragdoll play consultant Karen Newell, they launched the #ToyLikeMe campaign, calling upon global toy brands to positively represent the 150 million disabled children worldwide.
Three years on, #ToyLikeMe has become an international movement, with the likes of Makie Dolls, Playmobil, Lego and Lottie dolls producing various diff:ability-inclusive toys. Rebecca spoke at the 2016 and 2018 Children’s Media Conferences and #ToyLikeMe has been included in a report by the British Council detailing British disability design.
To see yourself reflected by huge toy brands is about more than just a toy. It's about these brands saying that you are worth it, that everyone should be included and celebrated
As well as continuing the campaign and hunting down toy brands to share with its global community, future plans include promoting disability inclusion through play workshops in schools, and a pre-school animation brand in the spirit of #ToyLikeMe.