Lottie Dolls’ Mia the Wildlife Photographer is the first doll to wear a cochlear implant.
Mia was created following consultation with Toy Like Me, a UK non-profit organisation which campaigns 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.
To coincide with the anniversary of BSL Recognition Day (18th March) the British Deaf Association (BDA) holds a nationwide Sign Language Week, celebrating British Sign Language (BSL). Sign Language Week is designed to raise awareness of the United Kingdom’s Deaf community and provide a platform for Deaf people to proudly promote their language and culture.
Reflecting the brand’s ethos of inclusiveness, Mia wears a cochlear implant, a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears. However, the implant is just a part of her story rather than a focal point. A keen photographer, the Mia character also has a mission to encourage children to take an interest in nature and wildlife.
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, she 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.