Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Mom Starts Making Inclusive Dolls After She Couldn’t Find Any With Hearing Aids For Her Deaf Daughter
264points
12.2K
Art, Social Issues2 years ago

Mom Starts Making Inclusive Dolls After She Couldn’t Find Any With Hearing Aids For Her Deaf Daughter

It’s very natural to want to play with toys that remind us of ourselves. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many dolls available for differently-abled children who have medical conditions and look different than others. 39-year-old British mother of two, Clare Tawell, decided to solve the issue and created the nonprofit organization Bright Ears UK which she uses to modify baby dolls to match children with medical conditions.

Clare’s biggest inspiration was her 4-year-old daughter Matilda who is deaf. “I became really disheartened when I couldn’t find a doll or any toy with hearing aids. It felt to me that society didn’t deem her important and therefore she shouldn’t be ‘acknowledged,’” she told Today.

The medical radiation technologist works on the dolls during her spare time and her goal is for every child with disabilities to play with toys that are just like them. She hopes to empower children and promote inclusiveness with her handmade dolls and accessories.

More info: Etsy | Facebook

Clare Tawell founded Bright Ears UK and now modifies dolls to make them look like children with various medical conditions

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Clare has sold over 2k dolls since starting her toy-altering mission in 2017. She hopes that, in the future, children with medical conditions will be able to go into any shop and see dolls with cleft lips or hearing aids next to regular dolls. That way, kids will feel normal and won’t feel different from others.

The founder of Bright Ears UK has had her hands full of new orders recently and some of her products are temporarily sold out. So if you’ve spotted something that you desperately want, you’ll need to have a bit of patience. Clare also does custom requests whenever she has the time.

According to Clare, we live in a world that puts a lot of emphasis on ‘being normal’ and anyone that looks different from the norm might feel ‘abnormal.’ That can affect kids’ confidence in themselves and their self-esteem and create further problems down the line.

It’s not just individuals who buy Clare’s dolls. Schools and nurseries have also purchased them and use them when they talk about inclusiveness and learning not to judge people by how they look.

Incomplete Cleft & Blue hearing aids

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Partial cleft, purple hearing aids & mic-key feeding tube

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Left incomplete cleft lip

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Right incomplete cleft lip

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Left incomplete cleft lip

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Custom cleft

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Cleft lip doll

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Cleft lip repair, macrostomia cleft & blue hearing aids

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Insulin Pump & CGM Sensor

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Insulin Pump & CGM Sensor

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Haemanhioma (Strawberry Mark) Custom made

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Stoma & Mic-Key Feeding Tube

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Oxygen Nasal Cannula

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Macrostomia cleft

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Central Venous Line

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Tracheostomy

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Heart scar doll

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

PEG feeding tube dolls

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Woody & Jessie Hearing Aids & Cochlear Implants

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Princess hearing aid doll

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Christmas Elves with various medical conditions

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Dolls with hearing aids

Image credits: Bright Ears UK

Share on Facebook
Popular on Bored Panda
Add your comment
COcO BAMa
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I;m gonna get a down vote but i think this is nice for younger kids who have no care in the world this makes them have a connection with their favorite doll i have a daughter with down syndrome which then affected her hearing personally i think she would love these dolls

Nicole Tomme
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nothing in your comment warrants a downvote.

Load More Replies...
rabbitsrabbit
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know how useful this is... these dolls look like they are for really young kids who may not be that sensitive to their physical differences (yet). Having really different looking toys might bring them unneccessary attention. Let kids have toys, no need to make everything into a social mission.

COcO BAMa
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes your right it might even make the kid more comfordent as if a african americian girl or boy would feel more comfindent with a doll in their enthicity

Load More Replies...
Viviane
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's criticism of these dolls that bring up some points to ponder. I'm wondering if anyone with a visible disability would have wanted a doll that reflects their appearance.

ChickyChicky
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then they won't buy these dolls. And the kids who do want them will buy them.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
COcO BAMa
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I;m gonna get a down vote but i think this is nice for younger kids who have no care in the world this makes them have a connection with their favorite doll i have a daughter with down syndrome which then affected her hearing personally i think she would love these dolls

Nicole Tomme
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Nothing in your comment warrants a downvote.

Load More Replies...
rabbitsrabbit
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know how useful this is... these dolls look like they are for really young kids who may not be that sensitive to their physical differences (yet). Having really different looking toys might bring them unneccessary attention. Let kids have toys, no need to make everything into a social mission.

COcO BAMa
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes your right it might even make the kid more comfordent as if a african americian girl or boy would feel more comfindent with a doll in their enthicity

Load More Replies...
Viviane
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's criticism of these dolls that bring up some points to ponder. I'm wondering if anyone with a visible disability would have wanted a doll that reflects their appearance.

ChickyChicky
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Then they won't buy these dolls. And the kids who do want them will buy them.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda