ToyLikeMe is an arts and play based not-for-profit organisation celebrating disability representation in the toy box, and encouraging the global toy industry to better represent 150 million children worldwide with disability and difference. ToyLikeMe aims to inspire change and has already influenced toy giants like Lego, Playmobil and Barbie to positively represent disability.
The collaboration saw the launch of the first Sequin Art craft project featuring a sparkly wheelchair-using fairy. This design is aimed at helping many disabled children grow positive self-esteem, feel included and celebrated. The new design will carry the “Loved by ToyLikeMe” endorsement on the packaging.
The new Izzy Fairy craft project is part of the Sequin Art Red range and was named after a 10-year-old Izzy who uses a wheelchair and lives in Thetford, Norfolk.
For kids with a disability rarely seeing anyone like you positively reflected in toys, books, TV, films can lead to a sense of isolation and low self-esteem. ToyLikeMe is campaigning to normalise disability for what it really is, part of the natural spectrum of human life.
Meet Izzy Fairy
Izzy Fairy uses a wheelchair to empower and enable her to get around independently. Maybe you use a wheelchair yourself? Or maybe you know someone else who does? There are an estimated 75,000 children in the UK who use a wheelchair. Some children use one all the time, and others may only need one sometimes. Everyone varies.
Can you play your way to a more open mind?
Yes, you can! Psychologist, Dr Sian Jones from Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh has studied the effects of playing with disabled toys on the attitudes of non-disabled children. After interviewing hundreds of children, she found that after playing with toys like this Izzy Fairy Sequin Art set, children are more open to forming friendships with disabled peers.