Lego delights disability campaigners

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Toymaker Lego is set to release a playset (60134) that includes a child in a wheelchair – a first for the company

The boy is featured in a YouTube video of ‘Fun at the Park’ posted by the German Lego news blog Promobricks. The video was shot at the German toys fair spielwarenmesse currently taking place in Nuremberg. The new set is due to go on sale in June 2016.

The move was welcomed by Lego lovers worldwide. They included the English-language site BricksFans, which posted ‘I’m sure you’ll agree this is a great step in the right direction by The LEGO Group’.

Many attribute the decision to the social media campaign ToyLikeMe, which has been campaigning for major toy companies and children’s TV ‘to better culturally represent 150 million disabled kids worldwide’.

ToyLikeMe launched a petition on the website change.org that pleaded with Lego ‘to put some wheelchair vroom vroom vroom into the toy box and help generations of kids, (both with and without disabilities), grow up with a more positive attitude to human difference!’

Its founder, journalist and campaigner Rebecca Atkinson, said

This move by Lego is massive in terms of ending cultural marginalisation, it will speak volumes to children, disabled or otherwise, the world over.

Fired up by Lego’s decision ToyLikeMe has now launched a crowdfunder campaign to establish a website that, ‘will celebrate disability in toys, advise parents and carers looking for representative toys and continue consulting and calling on the global toy industry to include disabled children in the cultural mainstream.’

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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