Disability Inclusive TV Shows/Movies/Toys for Kids
As my last blog post stated, one of the most important ways we can teach our children to be inclusive is by positively exposing them to disabilities at home in an organic and natural way.
One of those ways is by exposing them to TV shows, movies, and toys that portray disabilities in a positive light. In the past, characters with disabilities were often the villain or showed as the object of pity (and generally, all around negatively). In fact, I highly recommend reading Amanda Leduc's book "Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space" for a deeper dive into the role disabilities played in stories and movies of past and how we can do better.
Luckily, these days, there is more a push to get rid of this trope and include disabled characters more positively. Whether these characters are more normalized, empowered, or storylines surrounding inclusion, there are becoming more and more positive ways to open children up to the world of disabilities.
When it comes to TV shows & movies, I highly recommend watching them with your kids to be there if they have any questions or if they want to start a conversation. I don't think I would push a conversation on it if they aren't initiating it. But also that way as a parent, you know what is going on with what they are watching and it is something you can always refer back to if needed.
*This list does not include everything that is out there. I am only sharing the things I have either seen myself, others have shared with me, or I have found through internet research. If you have seen other shows/movies/toys that would be relevant to this list, please share it in the comments so readers can benefit from that knowledge as well. Also keep in mind that I have personally, not seen every TV show or movie on this list, so if you have and something is written inaccurately (or not positively), please let me know in the comments.
*I am also not linking everything (such as toys, episodes, etc.) because toy stock is constantly changing based on website and online store, so feel free to copy & paste into google to properly and relevantly search for those things and get the results that are relevant to you. In regards to TV episodes - same thing. I will be writing a description of the episodes/series so you can search in google or whatever else you use to watch/stream shows.
I hope this list is helpful!
Daniel Tiger - character Chrissy (introduction of Chrissy episode), episode season 6 entitled "A Fair Place to Play"
Doc McStuffins - episode about building ramps in the neighborhood for Wildlife Will - "On A Roll."
Blippi/Meekah/Ms. Rachel on Youtube - ASL episodes, inclusion of ASL within the episodes (Ms. Rachel)
Princess Power on Netflix - blue princess wears a leg brace and addresses it naturally in one of the episodes. "Princesses Soccer Spectacular" is about special treatment for a friend who is blind (and why that might not be such a good thing).
Blues Clues & You! - ASL episode season 1, "What Story Does Blue Want to Play?" as well as general inclusion of kids with disabilities in the live action portion of the show.
The Proud Family - rebooted season includes positive autism representation of Bebe.
Bluey - Character Dougie uses Auslan (Australian sign language).
Pete the Cat - "The Five Senses" episode, where Emma & Brian (who is blind) work together to build a sand sculpture.
Thomas the Tank Engine - Bruno the Brake Car has Autism.
Sesame Street - Julia, as well as other characters and guest stars who appear with disabilities
Chip & Potato - teacher Mrs. Woolly uses a wheelchair
Llama Llama - season 2 introduction of Audrey Antelope, character with prosthetic leg.
Punky - main character has Down Syndrome.
Peppa Pig - Mandy Mouse uses a wheelchair.
Goldie and Bear - Marian Locks uses a wheelchair.
Pablo - main character has Autism.
Team Zenko Go - character Ari uses a wheelchair.
The Healing Powers of Dude - Noah has Social Anxiety Disorder, Amara uses a wheelchair.
Paw Patrol - character Rex uses a wheelchair.
Puppy Dog Pals - character Lollie uses a wheelchair.
Avatar: The Last Airbender - character Toph is blind.
She-Ra & the Princesses of Power - many characters in this show have disabilities.
Raising Dion - Dion has ADHD and chronic Asthma, Esperanza uses a wheelchair.
The Casagrandes - CJ has Down Syndrome.
Hardball - Jerry has Cerebral Palsy.
Fireman Sam - Hannah Sparkes uses a wheelchair.
We Could Be Heroes - Wheels uses a wheelchair.
Finding Nemo/Dory - Nemo has limb difference, Dory has short term amnesia.
Dolphin Tale - Winter the dolphin gets a prosthetic tail.
Wonder - boy with Treacher-Collins and his experience going to school (there is a lot of debate about this one, especially since the character who plays Auggie does not actually have a disability).
Barbie: Mermaid Power - mermaid Aquaria has a prosthetic tail.
An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars - McKenna has dyslexia
No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie - a deaf superhero actor inspires a deaf young viewer.
Soul Surfer - movie for 10+, limb difference.
Pick of the Litter - documentary following puppies on their journey to become guide dogs for the Blind.
IAN: A Moving Story - Ian has Cerebral Palsy.
A Mile in His Shoes - follows an Autistic baseball pitcher.
Float - a parent raising his child with Autism.
How to Train your Dragon Trilogy -Toothless the Dragon has a prosthetic tail, other characters have other disabilities as well.
Luca - Massimo has limb difference.
Aaron Wheelz Hot Wheels & RC car
Barbie - various characters, accessories
American Girl Doll - Joss wears a hearing aide, wheelchair and disability accessories
Little People - inclusive dolls
Playmobile - accessible house set & dolls
Daredevil blind superhero action figure
Lottie - doll with Autism
Orchard Toys Woodland Party puzzle
Vermont Teddy Bear with limb difference
Special Dolls! dolls with disabilities
Lime Tree Kids dolls with Down Syndrome
The Butterfly Pig - inclusive doll accessories