For The First Time Since 1997, Wheelchairs Will Be Accessible To Dolls. Here's Why That Matters A Whole Lot.

"If kids can see diversity in their toys, I feel they can see diversity in others ..."

In 1997, wheelchairs for fashion dolls were discontinued. But it's 2016, and that's finally about to change. 

Nickolay Lamm, the founder of Lammily, took the toy world by storm when he released the first fashion doll with realistic body proportions. Now, Lamm's bringing wheelchair accessories back to dolls by introducing an adjustable toy version that fits most fashion dolls on the market. On November 30, the campaign video (below) was officially released to showcase the new wheelchair accessory. 

"The US is known for treating people with disabilities with respect and equality, unlike some other countries which may not even care to make their sidewalks wheelchair accessible," Lamm tells A Plus in an email.

"Being in the toy world, it was only natural for me to try to find the available wheelchairs for fashion dolls. I couldn't find anything. It didn't make sense to me that fashion dolls can have chairs, tables, cars, mansions — pretty much any accessory you can think of, but not a wheelchair." 

After completing the wheelchair prototype, Lamm took the toy to Ayita Dance Studio, a space that provides dance lessons to children in wheelchairs. 

There, Lamm witnessed the children's reactions. "Seeing them rejoice at this new accessible alternative for their dolls for the very first time ... It's a moment I'll keep with me for the rest of my life," Lamm writes on his Kickstarter page

In the video footage from the studio, the young girls are all smiles upon seeing the doll and instantly ask to play with her. Lamm also tells A Plus that Sami Wimberli, who runs Ayita, reported that the toy made her dancers feel more included.

"There's a false perception that people in wheelchairs are confined to their chairs when, in reality, it's their freedom," Lamm says. "Sami [Wimberli] mentioned that the more people see kids doing great things in wheelchairs, the more people will come to see wheelchairs as empowering ... "

"... I feel the wheelchair toy can create that same empowering image."

Photo courtesy of Nickolay Lamm
Photo courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

In addition to spreading and encouraging a positive message, 5 percent of proceeds of Lamm's wheelchair will go to the Big Dreams Children's Foundation. This foundation provides prosthetics and adaptive equipment to orphaned children around the world and aims to encourage today's youth to follow their dreams.

At the end of the day, Lamm hopes this project sends a simple message:

"To me, toys are like a diorama of life. If kids can see diversity in their toys, I feel they can see diversity in others, and accept and love them for who they are."

Photo courtesy of Nickolay Lamm
Photo courtesy of Nickolay Lamm

For more information, check out Lamm's Kickstarter page