How People with Disabilities are Seeing More Inclusiveness in Mainstream Culture 

People with disabilities - Golden Rule IndustriesFor people with disabilities, you may sometimes feel like you aren’t always represented in popular culture. And you don’t have to look far to find data that supports this feeling. For example, a recent study found that people with disabilities are severely underrepresented in the American film industry. The study also found that only 2.7% of speaking characters in top Hollywood movies included people with disabilities. 

With more than one in eight Americans estimated to be living with a disability, why shouldn’t mainstream culture be more representative? But there’s good news. If you look at recent instances of popular culture, people with disabilities are becoming more visible. Let’s look at some recent examples of how people with disabilities are gaining inclusivity in American culture. Even if these are small steps, examples of inclusion are worth celebrating and passing along to your friends! 

Emojis for People with Disabilities

Who doesn’t love sending a fun text  with an emoji to a friend? There are emojis that represent professions, like doctors and teachers. And there are even emojis that represent mythical creatures, like mermaids and vampires. And it’s only this year, in 2019, when 59 new emojis that represent people with disabilities will be added to smartphones. These emojis will include people holding a cane, service dogs, prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, and persons using sign language. The ending of this paragraph definitely deserves multiple smiley face emojis and hearts! 😍😍😍 

A New Look for Barbie Toys

If you ever grew up playing with Barbie, you might remember her looking just one way. Blonde, long-legged, and most certainly not having a disability! While Mattel’s new line of Barbie dolls still seem to have long legs, some of those legs are now in a wheelchair! Not to mention, the new line displays dolls with prosthetic limbs, another win for better representation of people with disabilities, especially among children. 

The Fashion Industry

Not only does Barbie have a whole new look, but so does the fashion industry! Models like Madeline Stuart, who made her debut in New York’s Fashion Week 2015, and Kate Grant, the new face of Benefit Cosmetics’, both have down syndrome and have been very well received in the fashion world. Additionally, some major clothing lines are taking the leap for inclusivity, such as Tommy Hilfiger, which just recently launched their adaptive clothing line that includes stylish and disability-friendly pieces such as adjustable hems, magnetic buttons, and one-handed zippers. All of these are awesome examples of inclusiveness to get excited about. This is especially true from an industry known to feature just one body type!  

Furthering Inclusiveness

Now if these examples of inclusiveness in mainstream culture have got you thrilled, we’re right there with you! And if you’d like to be a positive example to further inclusiveness in mainstream society for people with disabilities it’s worth sharing news-worthy pieces and articles such as these with your friends. Then social media will have even more representations of people with disabilities!

And another way you can become an advocate for inclusion is to support the Golden Rule Industries mission. By supporting our work to place adults with developmental disabilities in meaningful positions of employment, you can become the ultimate force of change in Oklahoma’s communities! 


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