The new echolocation toy featuring Bailey from Pixar’s Finding Dory – with audio description on iTunes – (affiliate link) proves inclusion and diversity in toys are possible, and very necessary.
I ran into Toys R’ Us to grab some bubbles and a swim vest for Lucas now that it’s finally summer weather in Boston. Right inside the front door of the store sat the bubbles. On the same display, the Finding Dory toys caught my attention. I’m obviously a fan, just check out my list of the best classic Pixar movies with audio description! Anyway, the toys were big and bright and looked fun for summer.
I expected to find Dory and Nemo, and even Hank, but I was a pleasantly surprised to see quite a few Bailey character toys, too! If you’re not already familiar with the movie, Bailey is a beluga whale (voiced by Ty Burrel of Modern Family) who thinks due to a head injury that there’s something wrong with his biological sonar – his echolocation. His friend Destiny, a whale shark who has a visual impairment, later urges him to find his confidence in using his echolocation to help be her eyes when they need to flee the enclosed pool where they live.
Complete Your Collection with Other Characters
How to Use the Echolocation Bailey & Dory Toys
It’s refreshing to have characters and plots that show their unique traits are not only accepted, but encouraged to be used and talked about in a positive way. It’s even better that they’re giving every kid the chance to be these characters through mainstream toys we can all enjoy.
As a parent, I thank Pixar and the Finding Dory creators for looking beyond the labels and status-quo. I hope through their example, as well as those of other major brands, kids with visual impairments will be given more characters they can relate with on this level.
For now, many of us may feel like it’s a stretch to see these companies step up, but I believe it’s possible. I believe it’s possible because it’s necessary for true inclusion in society. We will continue to celebrate every inch put forth in the right direction, and one day it will be the norm.