Mattel rolling out dolls with disabilities

February 23, 2019 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Barbie has been an astronaut, a teacher, an athlete and more. Now, the popular doll is becoming more inclusive. 

One in five Americans has a disability and now Barbies will too, says Julie Hensler-Cullen, director of quality and education at MossRehab.

One doll will have a prosthetic lower limb, and another will be sitting in a wheelchair. 

Hensler-Cullen says these dolls could push children and adults to talk about differences.

"A lot of focus is on the doll with the wheelchair, and I'm thrilled to know that along with that wheelchair, they're including a ramp to have children learn through play that the wheelchair is important, but having a ramp to access the places you want to visit is also important," she said.

She says a billion people worldwide have disabilities,and while these aren't the first dolls to portray people with assistive devices, people have been asking for more choices.