New Lego set upsetting parents of disabled children – The Post

New Lego set upsetting parents of disabled children

Old man in a wheelchair not exactly what they had in mind

Parents are concerned that the old man in a wheelchair figurine is sending out the wrong message (photo: Lego)
August 2nd, 2015 4:50 pm| by Ray W

Lego recently released its Duplo Community People Set, a collection designed to educate young children about different people and occupations.

The collection includes something parents have long requested on behalf of their children: a Lego figure with a disability.

But rather than showing a child with a disability, the photo on Lego’s website of the new set features an elderly man in a wheelchair.

READ MORE: Lego investing a billion kroner into sustainable materials

So disappointing
Organisers for the social media campaign Toy Like Me, a parent-run campaign calling on the toy industry to produce toys with disabilities, say the elderly wheelchair figure does little to support children who live with disabilities.

“We applaud Lego for producing a wheelchair-using Duplo figure,” said Rebecca Atkinson, the co-founder of the Toy Like Me campaign.

“But it’s so disappointing that the only wheelchair-using figure across all Lego products is an elderly person being pushed along by a younger figure. What does this say to children about disability?”

Wrong message
The campaign has set up a petition at change.org to encourage Lego to revise the set.

Lego responded by saying that children decide how the toy is played with, and that any Lego character can use the wheelchair.

Atkinson said she was aware that children can swap out the characters, but called it “a shame” that Lego chose the older character as its promotional piece.