A British mother, Clare Tawell started Bright Ears UK in 2017. Clare wanted to sell dolls with hearing aids after her daughter had one fitted as a baby.
This Mum wanted a doll for her daughter that was “just like her” but found there was nothing available.
Clare was soon inundated with orders. She has now expanded her range to include dolls with a range of disabilities and conditions. Her range includes dolls with cleft palates, feeding tubes, down syndrome and dolls with scars and disabilities. She aims to empower and help all children to feel included and accepted.
Tawell said she is “not doing it to make money,” but that she “is just fulfilling the need that isn’t being met.”
A Great Idea.
She came up with the idea after going to buy her four-year-old daughter, Matilda, a doll featuring a hearing aid as she was born deaf. However, she couldn’t find any.
Clare runs Bright Ears UK as a not for profit. She modifies readymade dolls rather than manufacturer her own dolls. Claire feels somewhat limited to what she able to use especially in terms of ethnicity and gender. “Not all dolls available are suitable for adaptions”
While others here in Australia have tried to introduce a diverse range of dolls and toys it seems to be limited and restricted. Kmart recently introduced its range of dolls. The inclusive includes dolls with Down Syndrome along with a doll in a wheel chair and amputee doll. While they are not at the impressive level of Clare’s dolls, it is certainly refreshing to have inclusion and diversity “normalised” We hope that the range will continue to expand.
Kmart’s range is proving to be a popular Christmas inclusion for all children and goes along way to promote inclusion and acceptance. If we could just work of racial diversity then I think we will be onto a winner.
Is there an inclusive doll on your wish list this year?
For more inclusive supports and ideas be sure to browse the Australian Autism directory.