Saturday, January 11, 2014

A 'disabled' girl asks the American Doll company to provide a special doll

Melissa, the 10 year old girl who wrote to American Doll and who started a petition on www.change.org, is my new hero.

Melissa was born with a disease called 'muscular dystrophy.' This makes it difficult for her to even walk.  She spends much of her time in a wheelchair.

Like many children, she loves playing with dolls - especially "American Girl" dolls.  However, this company does not produce a doll that is faced with any type of physical disability.

Melissa put up a petition on change.org asking for this special type of doll, but the company has not committed to creating one.  I think this is wrong.  Melissa has already created a great deal of publicity/free news for this company (I had never heard of American Doll before this story) and it seems like the right thing to do: children with physical disabilities have a right to play with dolls that reflect their life experience. A company should not just think about making money - they should think about doing good things as well.

If you want to sign the petition, please go to: http://www.change.org/petitions/american-girl-release-an-american-girl-with-a-disability

You will have to set up an account there - I tried joining with my Facebook page, but it didn't seem to work.

The article:

http://articles.philly.com/2014-01-06/news/45885465_1_american-girl-favorite-dolls-online-petition

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

a petition - this is a document on which a person can acquire signatures of people who support a certain idea or policy.  "To petition" is a verb - it means to formally ask someone in power to do something.

Paoli sisters - Paoli seems to be a town in the US state of Pennsylvania

a disability means that you are unable to do things that most people are able to do

It gained a life of its own. - this means that she did not have to try to promote the petition, the petition took off on its own.

a campaign is a formal effort to do or change something

debuted - started (pronounced: day byoud)

a promotion - something different a company does to attract attention and sell more products

it's a narrative that's been told already - that story has been told

inclusiveness is an important value in the USA.  Nobody should care about how a person looks, or how old he/she is, or what the person believes etc.  Everyone is supposed to be treated equally and with respect.  Inclusiveness means that 'everybody belongs!' or 'everybody is welcome here!'

crutches - these are wooden devices that people use to help them walk.  Usually a person uses two crutches, each crutch under one armpit.

leg braces are metal devices around a person's legs to help the person walk.

obstacles - things that make it difficult to live or succeed

bullying - this is when some students are mean, nasty or cruel to other students

climbing monkey bars -

recess - a period of school time when students are not in their classes and can have fun

immersive experience - comprehensive, it comes with a lot of background stuff; to immerse yourself in a new language means to go to a country that speaks that language and to speak nothing but that language so that you are immersed or totally surrounded by that language.

the big reveal - I think the journalist meant 'the big revealing' or 'the big revelation' (the big showing)

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