ANTIOCH (CBS SF) — An Antioch mother says a little more diversity in popular culture could go a long way to prevent the bullying of children with disabilities and is calling on Disney to make a change.
Mother Keston Ott-Dahl says her 15-month-old daughter, who has Down syndrome, loves Disney movies but has no role model of own because of the lack of diversity in Disney films.
Ott-Dahl started a Care2 petition demanding that the studio add characters more like her daughter to future projects. “Not to make a movie about Down syndrome but just to make it incidental that a character, hero or heroine, has Down syndrome,” said Ott-Dahl.
“Disney does a great job of depicting right from wrong. It has long (been) providing 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. 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!”
As of Monday morning, the drive had nearly reached its goal of 67,000 signatures.
Keston and her wife Andrea chronicle the challenges and rewards of raising a child with down syndrome on the blog DelaneySkye.com.
They plan to deliver the signatures to Walt Disney Studios President Sean Bailey after the campaign wraps up.
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