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FYI, This Teen Was Way Ahead of LEGO

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We were thrilled this week when LEGO confirmed an upcoming set would feature a figure that uses a wheelchair. After months of disability activists pressuring the company to include people of all abilities, this was an exciting win.

But just so you’re aware, LEGO, one teen was way ahead of you. A few weeks ago, 15-year-old Whitman Sutton, who has spinal muscular atrophy and uses a wheelchair, created a LEGO replica of himself.

teen with lego he made
Courtesy of Elisabeth Sutton
lego in wheelchair
Courtesy of Elisabeth Sutton

Even though Sutton says LEGO’s latest move for inclusion is “awesome,” we wanted to give credit where credit is due. His mom, Elisabeth Sutton, hopes this is just the first step in a more inclusive toy industry.

“People do not fit into a mold. We come in all shapes, colors and abilities,” she told The Mighty in an email. “The toy industry as a whole seems to be recognizing this fact and has made a good start on representing the wide variety of kids who like to play with toys. Hopefully they will continue to expand this trend.”

In August, another teen made headlines when she submitted an all-inclusive toy set to Lego Ideas, a program where anyone can send in ideas for Lego models. Kendall Waltz, 14, built a set including wheelchairs, a wheelchair ramp, a seizure-alert dog, an autism service dog and one seizure helmet.

“This project is needed because every child deserves to play with toys like them,” Kendall told The Mighty in August. “I personally have a Lego figure that I made that I think looks like me, and everybody should have one like that.”

Related: A Toy Company Is Finally Making Dolls With Disabilities and Health Conditions 

Originally published: January 29, 2016
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