American Girl is ringing in the new year by unveiling its first doll with hearing loss. The doll is the American Girl of the Year.
The popular doll line, owned by Mattel, introduced Joss Kendrick, with the help of Olympic surfing hopeful Caroline Marks.
Joss is a “a fierce athlete born with hearing loss and a passion for surfing and competitive cheer,” the company said in a news release. Her story is based her hometown of Huntington Beach, California.
The doll has brown hair and brown eyes and comes with a removable hearing aid.
“American Girl has a rich legacy of creating timeless characters who encourage girls to reach for new heights and discover who they’re meant to be,” said Jamie Cygielman, general manager of American Girl.
“Working with Olympic hopeful surfer Caroline Marks adds real-world inspiration about what can happen when you go ‘all in’ on your dreams.”
In addition to the doll release, American Girl is partnering with the Hearing Loss Association of America to raise awareness and collect donations. The company also plans to donate $25,000 to the organization and support its annual walk. Starting January 1, it will also take donations for the HLAA in American Girl retail stores.
Joss is available online starting Tuesday and in stores starting Wednesday.