Should We Ask Disney To Depict Characters With Learning Disabilities?

9 December 2014

A mum from California, whose daughter has Down's Syndrome, has started a petition to call on Disney to create  a character with a learning disability. The mum has already amassed more than 80,000 signatures in support of the idea.

The Telegraph reports:

Disney is branching out with its princesses. Frozen and Brave saw its strongest, independent female princesses, and the box office figures proved just how much the viewers loved them. 

But the company is yet to feature a princess who has a learning disability.

It’s why parents are now petitioning for the company to create a Disney princess with Down’s syndrome.

Keston Ott-dahl says her daughter can't relate to the role models depicted in Disney movies, and thus wants Disney to represent children with Down's Syndrome in their animated films.

She writes:

Disney does a great job of depicting right from wrong. It has long been providing wonderful moral lessons that teach our children to be good people - but sadly, the company comes up short in one critical area. 

Its movies have almost no representation of disabled people, those often bullied and looked down upon by their fellow children. 

What wonderful lessons of diversity, compassion, and acceptance Disney could teach our kids if they promoted disabled characters as heroes and heroines in their beloved movies!

What do you think? Would you like to see more relatable characters in Disney films, including those with disabilities?

Image credit: Keston Ott-dahl

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