American Girl has been a childhood staple for more than 30 years, with more than 32 million dolls sold since 1986.
I can look at a girl and automatically know which American Girl she had. Like, you ever meet someone and you’re just amazed by the Samantha energy that they give off?— maybe: clare (@clur19) December 28, 2019
The doll line has more than 40 characters. Every doll is different from each other, representing girls all throughout American history and modern times. The dolls come with their own books, and more than 157 million books have been sold.
American Girl announced on Good Morning America that it is releasing the first doll with a disability. Named Joss Kedrick, the doll has a hearing impairment and wears a hearing aid. There are hearing aids in the American Girl accessory line, however, there has not been a doll with hearing loss before.
Joss lives in California, is a dedicated surfer and cheerleader and was born deaf in her left ear. She uses her hearing aid on her right ear, which has some hearing loss.
“Whether she’s on her surfboard or in the gym, Joss shows girls the importance of trying new things, pushing past stereotypes, and being a good team player,” American Girl said in a statement when it announced Joss as Girl of the Year.
Parents who have children with hearing loss were thrilled there is a doll that represents their child.
The 2020 American Girl doll of the year is from Southern California, she was born with hearing loss and she looks like my Hattie girl. To top it all off, 2020 is the year Hattie will get cochlear implants. My heart!!! #AmericanGirl pic.twitter.com/7ZdgwBa0wi— Nikki Nielsen (@xoNikkiNielsen) December 31, 2019
This is incredible! I had Molly when I was little but being a hearing impaired California Girl myself, I never had any dolls that were like me! Thank you @American_Girl!— Meredith New Years Lee (@meralee727) December 31, 2019
American Girl releases the first hearing impaired doll to start 2020 - CNN https://t.co/NhodiBPjuq
i read this and started tearing up. a deaf/hard of hearing american girl doll that wears a hearing aid and performs? where was she when i needed her? i am so so happy that i can finally see a part of myself in something that i cherished my entire childhood. https://t.co/GHLd0WPOp9— clare (@clare_neylon_) December 31, 2019
American Girl worked with hearing-loss experts to appropriately portray Joss not just in doll form, but in the books. They also worked with surfing and cheerleading experts to make sure Joss’ whole story is complete. In honor of Joss, American Girl also donated $25,000 to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
Overall, people praised American Girl for their 2020 Girl of the Year.
This!! Hearing loss can be isolating and extremely depressing. Maybe this will help not only little girls, but grown women, know that it's ok. You're not broken. As someone who has fought cholesteatoma for 20 year and lost a large amount of my hearing, I applaud American Girl. https://t.co/HXtYvSEMZm— AZ (@zummy87) January 1, 2020
The American Girl for 2020 has hearing loss and wears a hearing aid. Finally, a disabled girl of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/Ioc8OdSaBR— Angie Manfredi (@misskubelik) December 31, 2019
The 2020 American Girl doll of the year is Joss Kendrick. She's an athlete and cheerleader and also deaf! She's deaf in her left ear and uses hearing aids (which come w/her!) in her right. This makes me so happy. She's an active, empowered, happy girl who is also #deaflikeme. 😭— Holly, in full bloom (@hollymathnerd) December 31, 2019
Joss is currently available on American Girl’s website and in American Girl retail stores.