After successfully crowd funding earlier this year, #ToyLikeMe today launch their website hub to connect customers with products which represent diff:ability and continue their call on the global toy industry to better represent 150 million children worldwide with disability and difference.
The website, which launches as the Rio Paralympics draws to an end, features images of #ToyLikeMe’s signature makeovers such as Hulk with a hearing aid and Storm Trooper with a prosthetic blade, as well as the world’s largest collection of deaf toys with hearing aids and cochlear implants available to buy, thanks to the power of 3D printing.
Yes, characters including Tinkerbelle, Paw Patrol’s Ryder and Frozen’s Kristoff have all made it to the front of the audiology waiting list!
“We’re turning triple dipple somersaulty backflips of happiness to launch toylikeme.org,” says Rebecca Atkinson, the UK journalist and creative consultant behind #ToyLikeme. “We’ve scoured the internet looking for products which represent diff:ability. Now for the first time ever, parents and carers can find them all in one place.”
Atkinson, who is herself partially deaf and partially sighted, established the #ToyLikeMe ‘toy box revolution’ in April 2015 to call on the global toy industry to positively represent 150 million disabled children worldwide.
With over 40k followers in 45 countries, and fans including Stephen Merchant, Julia Donaldson and Katie Piper, Atkinson hopes the unique celebratory approach taken by #ToyLikeMe will help bust pervasive stereotypes and inspire change in the way that diff:abilty is presented to children, both diff:abled and otherwise.
“It’s time diff:ability got a creative airing,” says Atkinson. “For too long diff:abled people have been portrayed in an unimaginative and boring light in the toy box. Wheelchairs are nearly always in the hospital sets and usually grey. At #ToyLikeMe we aim to use creativity to push the aesthetics of disability into the modern times and shake out the dust!”
#ToyLikeMe hope that the products featured on toylikeme.org will be enjoyed by all children, not just those with diff:abilities themselves. “Harper Beckham who was recently snapped with a toy wheelchair has shown that ALL children can enjoy playing with diff:abled toy,” says Atkinson.
Recent research by academic Sian Jones at Goldsmith University’s Psychology Department has also found that non-diff:abled children are more open to forming friendships with diff:abled classmates after playing with wheelchair toys.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 5 funny ways to use captions!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people