Rose Ayling-Ellis unveils first Barbie doll with hearing aids

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The Eastenders actress said the doll is “so important” in helping kids “accept their differences.”

The EastEnders actress, who won the dance competition in 2021, is part of the Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign.

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She joins a number of different models that reflect the new line of dolls, including the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with a prosthetic limb, and another with a wheelchair.

Ayling-Ellis, who has been deaf since birth, said: “It’s so important that children can see themselves represented in the toys they play with.”

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“When I was little, I put hearing aids on my Barbie dolls to make them look like me. That’s why I’m thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage children to celebrate and embrace their differences.”

The Barbie Fashionistas line is available in the UK from Thursday (18 August).

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“A positive step towards inclusion”

Mattel consulted with experts on the dolls to accurately represent the hearing aids.

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The educational audiologist Dr. Jen Richardson said she was “honored” to work on the line, explaining, “It inspires those who experience hearing loss that is reflected in a doll.

“I’m so excited that my young patients can see and play with a doll that looks like them.”

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Rosie Eggleston, equity manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said the charity was “delighted” that the doll had come out and that it was a “really positive step towards inclusion”.

She added: “It will give all children a much greater appreciation for the diversity of the people around them and open a window into the world of the deaf.

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“It will also mean a lot to deaf children who wear hearing aids because they will reflect their own experiences in a real mainstream toy.

“This could really help them be proud of their deafness, celebrate hearing aid wear, and have new ways to talk to their friends about what it’s really like to be deaf.”

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