ANTIOCH (CBS SF) — An Antioch mother’s campaign to get Disney to represent children with Down syndrome in its films has grabbed tens of thousands of signatures and the attention of Disney headquarters.
Keston Ott-Dahl launched a petition last month on activist social network website Care2, inspired by her young daughter Delaney.
“Our daughter has Down syndrome,” Ott-Dahl said in a message on the online petition page. “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.”
Addressing the petition to Walt Disney Studios President Sean Bailey, the mom of two wrote that while the entertainment company “does a great job of depicting right from wrong…its movies have almost no representation of disabled people, those often bullied and looked down upon by their fellow children.”
The petition calls on Disney to represent children with Down syndrome in its movies and asks the public to support the cause.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had collected more than 67,700 signatures.
In addition, Ott-Dahl said in an online post today that she has finally received a response from Disney.
“Disney has responded to the petition, saying the studio is ‘committed to continuing to create characters that are accessible and relatable to all children,'” she wrote.
But the Antioch resident said she will keep pressing the issue, and plans to deliver the petition in person at Disney headquarters in Burbank on Nov. 26.
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