Kmart is on a mission to make everyday living brighter for Aussie families. With product ranges that represent the world we live in and celebrate the things that make us different and unique.
With a talented team of designers and buyers here in Australia, Kmart are working hard to bring their products to life and have introduced one of those special creations today in the form of Guide Dog Handler Dolls, designed with advice from Guide Dogs Australia.
The Guide Dog dolls, which feature a person with low vision or blindness, aim to promote inclusion and accessibility in families. Whether they have or know someone with a Guide Dog, someone with low vision or blindness, or whether they have specially trained dogs for other purposes (such as Therapy or Assistance Dogs). Kmart stated that they know that families come in all shapes and sizes and that they wanted their product ranges to reflect that.
Kmart boasts that they have a really diverse team, including Jordan. Jordan has low vision and has been working with his disability employment services; Mylestones and Job Access, and his Kmart leadership team, to obtain mobility equipment to assist with aspects of his role. This includes a camera that connects to his glasses (reading text when directed) and a scanner that magnifies text up to 10%.
Jordan has a long-standing relationship with Guide Dogs Australia, having completed mobility training with them in his younger years to increase his independence. It helped make him a more independent person and gave him the courage to explore his community. When Jordan first heard about Kmart’s Guide Dog Handler Dolls, he felt an overwhelming feeling of support and inclusiveness. He said “it makes me feel warm at heart knowing I work for a company that supports that.”
Kmart CEO John Gualtieri says, “Inclusion is so important. Not just for children with disability and their families, but for all children. It can help form positive self-image, it can teach acceptance, and it can help children learn more about people different from themselves. We’re proud to be expanding our representation of diversity in store to better reflect our teams and communities.”
Kmart have donated 1,000 Guide Dog Dolls to Guide Dogs Australia, which will be distributed to children with low vision or blindness, their families, and networks across the country as part of International Day of People with Disability on Friday 3 December.
Karen Hayes, Guide Dogs Australia CEO Group said, “Guide Dogs is excited to have collaborated with Kmart on the newest range of inclusion dolls, ensuring that the doll representing a Guide Dog Handler is authentic and accurate. Thank you to Kmart for including us in the consultation phase, and for creating these dolls that promote inclusion and diversity in our communities – ensuring that kids young and old alike can play and learn with dolls that represent someone they know, or someone they, one day, might meet.”