Photo credit: Mike Mozart licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

CNN reports that Mattel’s Barbie division unveiled its first-ever doll with hearing aids. As Mattel’s Global Head of Barbie Dolls Lisa McKnight said, the dolls will help children see themselves reflected. Other dolls to come include a Ken doll with vitiligo, a skin condition.

McKnight added that children should be encouraged to play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.

More importantly to me, for those children who have to wear hearing aids, having a doll with hearing aids helps them feel accepted. It lets them know that they are not alone.

The American Girl doll company released a doll with hearing aids two years ago, but Mattel sells many more Barbie dolls at a lower price point, so we’re glad to see this new development.

We are glad to see inclusive dolls coming to market, and hope they help children learn to accept those with abilities different from their own.