American Girl dolls hit the scenes years ago, with a couple characters that represented the diversity of women that grew up in the country. Now, not only do young girls have an array of strong female characters to choose from, but they can make one in their own likeness — that is unless they have a disability.
Young girls can select the hair, skin or eye color of the doll that captures their image. They can choose the type of clothes that they will wear, but that doesn’t capture every young girl, says 10-year-old Melissa. This young girl struggles with muscular dystrophy on a daily basis, a genetic disease that has left her in a wheelchair for much of the day. Disability is a part of life that she believes should be represented in the stories of these American dolls.
While Melissa may not have had to deal with slavery, make it through the rough winters on the plains or understand the hunger felt during the Great Depression — like the original characters did — she understands overcoming obstacles. Her favorite modern characters have their own struggles more akin to the current events in life today, like a girl dealing with bullying.
“American Girls are supposed to represent all the girls that make up American history, past and present,” she said in her petition to the company for production of a doll with a disability. “That includes disabled girls.”
This 10-year-old knows that she needs a little help if she is going to get the company to listen and maybe even respond. The girl enlisted the help of her 17-year-old sister to draft the petition and help with other aspects of the project. Those that need Social Security disability benefits may want some help with their application as well, and they can turn to a SSD lawyer with experience in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Source: Disability Scoop, “American Girl Petitioned To Make Doll With Disability,” Dana Diflippo, Jan. 6, 2014