BookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxFilledCheckBoxCircleBumpCheckedFilledMedical

Teacher Paints Hearing Devices on Dolls for Hard of Hearing Kids

Her simple gesture is going a long way.
save article
profile picture of Ashley Edwards Walker
By Ashley Edwards Walker, Contributing Writer
Published September 30, 2019
smiling toddler holds bunny doll
Image: Getty Images

In recent years, companies have made efforts to more accurately reflect the diverse world in which we live, leading to more ads featuring disabled models and gender-neutral dolls. But we still have a long way to go before every child sees themselves represented in images and products around them. Rather than wait for companies to catch up, one California teacher decided to take things into her own hands and drew hearing devices on dolls for her hard of hearing students to play with.

Genesis Politron, a kindergarten teacher who works with deaf and hearing impaired students, took to Twitter to share photos of two very special dolls she customized for her classroom. Using what appears to be puffy paint, she drew hearing devices on each of the toys. One sports a traditional over-the-ear hearing aid, while the other has a surgically implanted hearing aid known as a cochlear implant.

“I teach preschool and kindergarten for deaf/hard of hearing kids, and my students never see toys that resemble their hearing devices (hearing aids/cochlear implants),” she explained in a tweet that has since gone viral. “So I added some to our new baby dolls on my own. I wish everyone could see their faces playing with these.”

The tweet, which has received nearly 158,000 likes and racked up hundreds of comments, is proof of the significant impact inclusive actions like Politron’s can have—something her followers and others who saw her post being retweeted were quick to point out.

“Wow this is so cool,” one person wrote. “I used to be so embarrassed of my hearing aids and dolls like these would’ve really helped!”

“My mom did this on my stuffed animals for me too when I was little!” another said, adding a couple crying emojis and a heart.

“Representation is so important,” said a third tweet. “Thank you for contributing.”

A few followers also shared stories and suggestions about other ways children with disabilities can feel represented.

“I love this!” one follower said, adding: “If anyone is looking to get a doll w prosthetics, casts, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, etc., check out https://mickeysmissionllc.com!”

“This is the sweetest thing ever!” another follower tweeted. “My friend has two deaf daughters and she got them custom American Girl dolls with hearing aids. To see their faces light up was priceless! Nice job teach! You’re a hero!”

“I painted a mural at an elementary school that included a child with a cochlear implant,” a third person shared. “It just made sense to me because the school had a DHH program. Didn’t even anticipate the kid’s reactions: pointing, laughing, trying to hug it. That small gesture meant so much to them.”

Seeing the dolls also reminded people of the New Zealand dad who had an image of a cochlear implant tattooed on his head in support of his daughter who had the device implanted when she was 4. The family shared that after her dad got the tattoo, she became much more social than she’d previously been—just more proof that helping children feel seen matters.

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

adrienne bailon and son
Adrienne Bailon-Houghton on Being a New Mom, Her Fashion Line—and Group Chats With Kourtney Kardashian
By Natalie Gontcharova
 Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau attend "Babes" Special Screening & Reception at The West Hollywood EDITION on May 09, 2024
Babes on Babes: Michelle Buteau and Ilana Glazer on the Daily Wins and Woes of Parenting
By Lauren Barth
stressed and tired mom of 2 children
Are You a ‘Mom in the Trenches?’ Viral TikTok Points to 4 Clues
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Keshia Knight Pulliam and her two children at home
Keshia Knight Pulliam on Life, Facing Bias and Raising Babies
By Lauren Barth
affirmations for black moms to be
Black Moms Empowering Black Moms With Words of Wisdom
By Ashley Simpo
empowering-parenting-products-HERO
9 Empowering Products for Brand-New Parents
By Korin Miller
baby with a smash cake
10 Smash Cake Ideas to Help You Celebrate Baby’s First Birthday
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
family with baby standing outside of home
These Are 2024’s Best States to Raise a Family, Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
toddler playing in his room with toys and teepee
Tips for Purging Your Kids’ Overstuffed Toy Bins
By Lauren Kay
baby playing with mom and dad in nursery room
What to Do if Your Child Has a Preferred Parent
By Blair Sharp
ADVERTISEMENT
child smiling at thanksgiving dinner
Activities to Help Teach Your Kids to Be Thankful
By Christin Perry
mother kissing her toddler son at home
Coping in Crisis: How to Be a Present Parent During Difficult Times
By The Bump Editors
tb-cool-gifts-for-mom-HERO
Cool Gifts for Moms That Deserve a Treat
By Martina Garvey
ADVERTISEMENT
Khloé Kardashian, Penelope Disick, Kim Kardashian, North West and Kris Jenner attend the "RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR" at SoFi Stadium on September 04, 2023 in Inglewood, California.
These Are 2023’s Most Influential Celebrity Parents
By Wyndi Kappes
Twin Halloween Costumes-hero
Twinning for the Win: 28 Best Twin Costumes for Halloween
By Korin Miller
Amazon Prime Benefits Hero
Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits Parents Didn't Even Know Existed
By Martina Garvey
mom congress in front of capitol building
The 2023 Mom's Agenda: a Path to More Parent-Friendly Legislation
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Kristin and Deena from big little feelings
Behind-the-Scenes Parenting With the Pros Behind Big Little Feelings
By Lauren Barth
black family holding hands while walking on sidewalk outside
How Generational Trauma Affects Black Families—and Ways to Work Toward Healing
By A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
mother and toddler son smiling
What Raising a Child Without Family Has Taught Me About Parenthood
By Hannah Silverman
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.