Mom Of A Special Needs Little Girl Petitions Disney For An Incredibly Beautiful Reason
Because Princesses of all abilities deserve a happy ending.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and a California mother is standing up for special needs children in a big way.
Keston Ott-Dahl's 15-month-old daughter, Delaney, has Down Syndrome. The little girl also happens to love Disney princesses. But none of those princesses have special needs.
"Like other children, she adores animated movies -- so when I see her mesmerized by Disney princesses, it breaks my heart to know that she has no role models like herself," Ott-Dahl wrote on a Care2 petiton she created.
That petition is calling on Disney to create the princess that kids like her daughter can have as role models. And it appears that other people agree. So far, the petition has over 54,000 signatures — a thousand less than the 55,000 Ott-Dahl iniated went for.
She says that having a princess with Down Sydrome could change the way children perceive those with special needs.
In the description of the petition, Ott-Dahl further explains:
Disney does a great job of depicting right from wrong. It has long provided 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.
Other than the Hunchback of Notre Dame and Finding Nemo's Nemo (a fish), which aren't princesses that little ones adore, Disney has failed to include lead characters or a princess with clear cognitive disabilities.
Last January, the idea of a disabled Disney princess surfaced after an artist created a photoseries of Disney princesses in wheelchairs.
However, some commenters don't think the Disney Princesses should change at all. "Your child should feel accepted by the environment they're in and parents upbringing you can't rely on society or a company to do it for you." said one commenter.
Another commenter doesn't think the princesses are good role models to begin with. But Ott-Dahl firmly believes the change would make a difference.
"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," she wrote.