By Michael Rock:
The disability community has achieved several noteworthy developments regarding their inclusion recently.
The small Eastern Spanish town of Onil, known for its doll manufacturers, has recently led the charge in producing dolls depicting children with Down Syndrome. Advocates hope that that children who play with such dolls will learn to have less discriminatory attitudes towards their peers with the condition.
Meanwhile, parents of people with autism as well as autistic self-advocates have recently drawn attention to the problematic depiction of the neurological condition in the new film Music. Criticisms include casting a neurotypical actor in the role of the title character, her offensively caricatured body language, a lack of character development, and its depictions of physical restraints.
Inspired by a 2012 letter that went viral by then-sixteen year old-Matthew Walzer, who has cerebral palsy, Nike has released its Go FlyEase line of shoes, which are designed to be put on and removed hands-free.
Michael Rock is a New York City-based reporter and self-advocate with autism. A graduate of Brandeis University, his work has appeared in Kings County Politics, Chelsea Now, Our Town, Queens County Politics, and WhoWhatWhy.