American Girl Dolls have always been one of the most sought-after toys for children. They allow children to express themselves through the doll and basically make the doll more of a friend than just a toy.
In 2016, American Girl Doll released one of the best and most progressive pieces a toy like these could have - a hearing aid. So now, not only can children dress their doll up like them, but also make their doll-like them in every way - including the hearing aid.
This is life-changing for the kiddos who have hearing aids. A toy that is like them shows those kids how accepted they are despite their disability. Regardless of how they look, these children can see that something like a hearing aid can be seen as beautiful.
Something like this may look simple to some people or even some families, but when I see how progressive and accepting American Girl Doll is I think of how my nieces are growing up playing with dolls that teach them to love regardless of disability and regardless of whatever "extra" accessories someone has to have. I think of how precious it is to see families with a child who has a hearing impairment walking around with a doll "like" them.
Extra things, like hearing aids for toys, change everything. It changes how society looks at disabilities. It changes how society accepts disabilities. It makes disabilities seen in a society that treats disabilities like a curse.
The truth is, disabilities are real and they affect so many families and children, but these families don't see disabilities as a curse. While it may take a while for something like a hearing impairment to be seen as a blessing, little victories are always sweet victories. When a child with a hearing impairment responds to their name for the first time or when they hear people clapping when they succeed.
American Girl Doll is allowing families to see how precious a hearing impairment can be. It is allowing children to see their own impairment as beautiful rather than how most of society sees their impairment.