Roundup of Dolls with Disabilities

It’s important for kids to have a doll that looks like them. The common thinking is that dolls affect a child’s perception of identity, everything from concepts of beauty to self-esteem. I say "child" instead of "girl" because, at least in the toddler years, boys play with dolls, too.

So without any further fuss, here are a few dolls not commonly found in stores.

Photo of four soft dolls equipped with a wheelchair, braces, walker and a seeing eye dog.

Ethnic Disability Dolls sold by BIndependent—These 15-inch soft-bodied dolls are machine washable, coming in white, black, Asian and Hispanic versions. It’s their optional accessories that make them truly special:

Photo of an array of Sew Able Dolls showcasing many of the doll accessories.

Sew Able Dolls by Sew Dolling are 18-inch vinyl-and-cloth dolls that are sold in a variety of combinations for kids with prosthetic limbs or who are undergoing physical therapy or chemotherapy.

The base doll is white-skinned and has an above- or below-the-knee prosthetic leg. Its head is optionally hairless for use with a wig and hat.


  • Metal wheelchair
  • Arm braces
  • Walker
  • Trampoline (physical therapy)
  • Gym mat and Swiss therapy balls
  • Parallel bars
  • Crutches
  • Plaid suitcase

Photo of Lakeshore dolls sporting adaptive technology.

Multi-Ethnic School Dolls by Lakeshore. These 16-inch all-vinyl dolls with realistic features are designed for preschoolers. They come in white, black, Asian, Hispanic and Native American and also handle disabilities with optional accessories.

Any doll can be fitted with adaptive equipment including a wheelchair, guide dog and cane, protective helmet, eye glasses or hearing aid.

Photo of two Down Syndom dolls by Downi Creations.

Down syndrome dolls by Downi Creations. A nonprofit organization makes these dolls  with great attention to detail, as directed by God.

A competing Down syndrome doll line is made by HEST of Europe.


8 Responses to “Roundup of Dolls with Disabilities”

  1. Monique says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting about these dolls! I wanted to find something like this for my daughter. I just LOVE the idea and will support this company. I’m so tired of barbie! Sigh.

    July 9th, 2007 at 10:49 am

  2. MotherApproves says:

    Thanks for the links! I think this is a great option for all kids to have and be exposed to. Hopefully they catch on and show up in the big department stores.

    July 9th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

  3. toddler teacher says:

    There’s also a soft, toddler-friendly doll at (USA). They have two skin tones available, is more physically accurate (from what little I know) and theirs is just more cute (the European doll of color’s skin is too opaque to look like skin). It’s also cheaper- around $30.

    December 12th, 2007 at 7:08 pm

  4. mom of spinabifida says:

    Perfect for children to identify with themselves in a doll. Our hospital has the lakeshore learning dolls.

    July 28th, 2008 at 11:46 am

  5. shanti says:

    i think this is so cute

    December 18th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

  6. Mistful says:

    It would be great to have dolls like that in Poland.

    May 8th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

  7. Deb says:

    I’m looking for a doll wearing a hard plastic helmet like my grandaughter. She had cranial surgery and must wear the helmet for 18 months.

    September 22nd, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  8. jamie says:

    any thoughts on dolls with tracheostomy tubes and gastrostomy tubes? my little sister is four and i really wanna get her one for christmas but the only one i can find is nicki the training doll which is $500.. please help!

    December 4th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

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