It’s a new month, which means it’s time for another edition of In the Know: Disability News. Inclusive initiatives have taken center stage this month, as companies around the world are making strides to promote inclusivity for those with disabilities.
Photo from Special Olympics.
Ironman adds new inclusive division
IRONMAN Group is leading the charge, announcing that its IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 endurance races will now include competitors with intellectual disabilities. The change is reflected in the renaming of the existing Physically Challenged (“PC”) Open/Exhibition division to the Physically Challenged/Intellectual Disability (PC/ID) Open division. The move has been met with praise from competitors like Chris Nikic, who became the first person with Down syndrome to finish an IRONMAN race. He says, “A huge thanks to IRONMAN for being first and inspiring all the major running races around the world to follow.”
Image from Mattel.
Mattel reveals first Barbie doll with Down syndrome
In another inspiring move, Mattel, Inc. has announced its first Barbie doll with Down syndrome. The doll features a new face and body sculpt to be more illustrative of women with Down syndrome, including a shorter frame and longer torso. The doll’s dress pattern features butterflies and colors associated with Down syndrome awareness, while her pink pendant necklace represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome. The doll even wears pink ankle foot orthotics (AFOs) to match her outfit, and her sneakers have a zipper detail.
Image from Vogue.
Disability trailblazers make cover
British Vogue has also made strides in promoting inclusivity by dedicating five covers to disabled trailblazers. The covers feature disabled activists, models, and creatives, including Sinéad Burke, Selma Blair, Justina Miles, Aaron Rose Philip, and Ellie Goldstein. The magazine hopes to further important conversations around disability in the media and society and highlights how the fashion industry can increase inclusivity and adapt to better support people with disabilities.
We’re excited to see these inclusive initiatives and hope to see more companies and industries follow suit in promoting inclusivity for all. Stay tuned for more updates in Disability News.