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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Barbie Introduces First Doll with Hearing Aids


Barbie's first doll with hearing aids, on sale from June 2022. Photo courtesy of Mattel, Inc.

This June, Barbie, the 63-year-old American doll maker, released a new line of dolls as part of the company's continuous initiative to offer more diversity in its products. Among the new set of dolls is the first ever Barbie with hearing aids.

Mattel's Global Head of Barbie Dolls, Lisa McKnight, said in a press statement that the new line will help kids "see themselves reflected."

Barbie enlisted the expertise of Dr. Jen Richardson, a leading practitioner in educational audiology, to help accurately design a behind-the-ear device for the doll.

"I'm beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them," said Richardson in a press release.

Barbie hopes the ponytailed doll with a hot pink hearing aid inspires those who have experienced hearing loss.

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