Doll with cochlear implant illustrates importance of diversity in kids’ toys
Mia the Wildlife Photographer was created to reflect our brand's mission: that childhood should be an inclusive place, for all kids, regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. Mia wears a cochlear implant but that is just part of her story. Read on to discover more.
Mia the Wildlife Photographer, a recent addition to the Lottie Dolls’ range, is on a mission. She wants to encourage children to take an interest in nature and wildlife and has even published a doll-sized newspaper, inspiring kids to get involved, full of the nature photos submitted by children as part of her international photography competition. And Mia - who was created following consultation with 'Toy Like Me' – just happens to wear a bright-pink cochlear implant.
#ToyLikeMe is a UK non-profit who campaign for diversity in the toy-box and for better representation of disabilities so that differently-abled children can see themselves reflected in the toys they play with. ToyLikeMe was set up in 2015 by former BBC journalist and children's writer, Rebecca Atkinson, who wears hearing aids herself.Hearing loss can have a mental, physical and psychological impact on young children leaving them feeling disconnected from the world.
Cochlear implants can prove life-changing for people with moderate to profound hearing loss in one or both ears. Successfully-fitted implants enable users to follow conversations more easily and focus better in the noisy environments typical of childhood!Lottie Dolls were one of the first toy companies to answer Rebecca’s call for better representation for all kids.
“It’s so important that children with impaired hearing know that they are not alone,” says Kate Peers, writing in The Metro. “Do I like the fact that Lottie Dolls have introduced Mia? Absolutely. Mia will educate parents like me and children about cochlear implants and how amazing they are. Mia will teach children that not everyone can hear okay but there are inventions being made to help people. Mia is ace. Nothing stops her from doing things. Just how it should be.”
Mia the Wildlife Photographer was acknowledged with an International Design Award, receiving both an Honourable Mention and a Silver.
"A great product has the potential to be life changing. It can be simultaneously beautiful and innovative, useful and creative, designed to solve a problem, make life easier or simply spread joy. At the International Design Awards, we want to reward the strategic thinking and imagination which goes into making a product which will be used, valued and perhaps even loved by its target market."
Mia made a guest appearance on RTE’s ‘Late Late Toy Show’, Ireland’s most eagerly awaited toy event of the year, too. Children of the Holy Family School for the Deaf, ranging in age from four to twelve, came together from all over Ireland to perform a beautiful version of ‘True Colours’through Irish sign language. Accompanied by their teacher and conductor Shirley Higgins, the children’s performance was truly magical. Each of the inspiring kids was given their very own Mia to take home. The performance was listed on the Irish Independent’s “ten most talked about moments of the Late Late Toy Show”!
Watch the choir perform below:
Did you know?
The first Lottie doll was created following 18 months of research. The team spoke to retailers, industry experts, child psychologists, nutrition experts, parents and – most importantly – to kids. Their bodies are based on the proportions of a 9-year-old child and they are dressed comfortably in doll clothes that are made from colourful and tactile fabrics. They have play-sets that encourage outdoor play, empowering kids to try everything from fishing to body-boarding to fossil-hunting.
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