Dr Siân Jones & Dr Clare Uytman
There is growing evidence that toys and resources depicting disability help children who are not disabled to think about making friends with those who are.
Dr Sian Jones and Dr Clare Uytman have have been awarded QMU Innovation Fellowship funding in 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 to explore and develop fully accessible based resources co- created with invested stakeholders for use Schools and community settings, mapped to the Curriculum for Excellence. These resources will directly tackle representation and understanding of disability through play and imagination as supported by previous research.
What Does Disability Look Like? Developing an Evidence-Based Resource for Scottish Education through Toys and imagination
There is growing evidence that toys and resources depicting disability help children without a disability to think about making friends with disabled children. We will build on this evidence base, using images of adapted toy prototypes (such as Barbie with a missing limb, or Olaf the snowman with a cochlear implant) developed by ToyLikeMe alongside commercially available toys representing a range of disabilities, as part of a pop-up “Toybox Tales” exhibition in schools.
Using these images, we will develop an evidence-based resource pack which can be used by primary schools and other educational settings to positively influence children’s responses to disabled people. As part of the project, we will visit Scottish schools and assess the impact on children’s responses to disability of using these resources. The outcome will be a teacher resource pack and range of class-based activities such as images of toys, discussion cards, story writing tasks, all mapped to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence designed to introduce disabilities to children through the power of their imaginations.
Seeing me, Seeing you: Partner-led co-creation of resources to represent disability in education settings.
Evidence suggests that imagined contact, including play with toys which depict disability, leads to positive responses and friendship intentions of non-disabled children towards disabled people. This project builds on previous work exploring this phenomenon in an education setting, in partnership with the charity ToyLikeMe.
Our previous projects have allowed us to assess and refine resources aimed at actively challenging and improving children's understanding of, and attitudes towards disability. We now intend to build on previous findings through partner engagement with education stakeholders to develop these resources.
Our aim is to create set of a fully accessible resources, co-created with invested stakeholders, for use in education and other community settings. These resources will directly tackle representation and understanding of disability through play and imagination as supported by previous research findings. These will be developed and made available as a not-for-profit social enterprise.
'Seeing Me, Seeing You' (Project Pages)
Toy Like Me in Schools - Project Enquiries
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