An inspirational new doll who wears a hearing device has been launched by Donegal company Lottie Dolls.
Meet Mia, the outdoor-loving wildlife photographer. She wears a cochlear implant, but that is just one of the features of Mia that make her unique.
Mia is passionate about her photography and hopes to inspire other children to love wildlife and the planet with her images.
Mia is a Lottie Doll of Arklu, the ground-breaking toy company founded by Ian Harkin and Lucie Follett. The brand’s message is that childhood should be an inclusive place, where every child belongs regardless of gender, ethnicity or ability. The dolls are designed with real children’s’ proportions and do not wear makeup, adult clothing or heels as we often see in the toy industry.
The dolls are designed with real children’s’ proportions and do not wear makeup, adult clothing or heels as we often see in the toy industry.
Mia’s message has already appealed to budding wildlife photographers around the world. Her doll box contains a mini-newspaper was comprised of nature photos submitted by children as part of an international photography competition.
The newest Lottie Doll was created in response to a call from a British mother, journalist Rebecca Atkinson, who wears hearing aids herself.
Rebecca’s Toy Like Me campaign seeks to achieve diversity in the toy-box and better representation of disabilities so that differently-abled children can see themselves reflected in the toys they play with.
“When I was growing up in the 80s,” says Rebecca, “I never saw any deaf characters in toys, books or on TV. When I became a mum myself, I decided it was time things changed. I wanted the global toy industry to act, to better represent the 150 million children worldwide with disability and difference.”
Psychologist Dr Sian Jones from Goldsmiths, University of London has studied the effects of playing with toys with disability and difference on the attitudes of children without disability and difference.
Interviewing hundreds of children, Dr Jones found that after playing with toys like the Mia doll, children were more open to forming friendships with peers with disability and difference.
Mia the Wildlife Photographer has been acknowledged in the International Design Awards, 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.”
Lottie Dolls celebrated their 5th anniversary this year by announcing that, going forward, kids will be contributing to the design of every doll via a monthly design competition. For more information visit www.lottie.com
Mia retails for €24.95 – you can buy the doll online at ie.lottie.com…