The American Girl brand has been releasing Girl of the Year dolls — limited-edition dolls — since 2001. And this year’s doll is fearless!
Joss Kendrick loves to fly high, whether participating in a surfing competition or tumbling through the air as part of the cheer team. And she also happens to use a hearing aid. With the release of the Joss Kendrick line of dolls and stories, American Girl has provided the perfect role model for differently-abled girls who yearn to reach for the sky.
According to Joss’s story, she was born deaf in her left ear, though she can still hear out of her right ear with the help of a hearing aid. This hearing aid comes with the doll as an accessory. You can spot it in this shot of Joss strolling barefoot on the beach, surfboard at the ready:
In order to create Joss, the brand took advice from six advisors: Crystal DaSilva, the women’s shortboard champion at the 2009 biannual World Deaf Surfing Championships; Bianca Valenti, a big-wave surfer; Sara Jo Moen and Julie Petersen, co-owners of a cheerleading-only gym; Sharon Pajka, a professor at a private university for the deaf and a specialist in representations of deaf characters in adolescent literature; and Jennifer Richardson, Au.D, an educational audiologist and the founder of the Hearing Milestones Foundation.
They did this in order to ensure that they depicted Joss’s storylines and challenges with as much accuracy and sensitivity as possible.
To show their support for the many Americans who navigate the world with hearing loss, the American Girl brand is donating $25,000 to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). The brand encourages others to join them by contributing online or at American Girl stores.
Will you be purchasing 2020’s Girl of the Year for your kids?