Disney characters are all about showing inner and outward strength.
Most children aspire to be like Disney characters in one way or another, as they look to up to these fictional characters not only as entertainment, but also as role models.
Keston Ott-Dahl, a mother from California, has a daughter who suffers from Down syndrome, so she has proposed something a little different for Disney characters since they have such an impact on children’s lives. She has decided to collect signatures to she presents a petition to Walt Disney Co. which will ask them create characters that have Down syndrome and show them as role models in an upcoming animated film.
As most children, her 15 month old daughter, Delaney Skye, loves Disney movies and has joined almost every child in their love for the most recent craze for the Disney film “Frozen”.
Most children find that specific Disney character that they can somewhat relate to and look at as a role model, but Delaney’s mother says her daughter has not be able to do so because of her disability.
Disney has been an inspiration to adults and children from each generation as they teach positive life lessons. Although, nothing like this has been done before besides the few Disney characters such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” from 18 years ago. Keston believes that incorporating Disney characters specifically with Down syndrome will encourage more compassion and acceptance for those with disabilities.
Appearances have become a pretty significant issue in this day in age, as children also aspire to look like their Disney heroes and role models. This might seem like a harmless dream for children as they play dress up, but that can be hard for those children with Down syndrome who realistically cannot find a character to relate to.
Keston hopes that Disney creates a film with a character with Down syndrome as the hero whom successfully battles through their condition and overcomes their condition. She believes that there is a way that everyone could relate. “It just might go a long toward reducing some of the on-campus bullying that attends the topic of Down syndrome in school today,” says Keston.
So far, the online petition has received more than 31,000 signatures and is continuing to collect signatures throughout the month of October.
What do you think about Disney recognizing characters with disabilities? Maybe even one day Disney will portray handicap vans for sale!