California teacher Genesis Politron knows a thing or two about helping kids who are disabled. For four years, she has been working with students with hearing loss to help them learn and feel empowered. Recently, she was shopping for toys for her pre-K and kindergarten classes when she realized she couldn’t find any dolls that resemble her students. That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands.
This teacher painted hearing devices onto baby dolls so they looked like her hearing-impaired students.
Genesis shared her inclusive dolls on Twitter, where she quickly went viral.
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), so I added some to our new baby dolls on my own. I wish everyone could see their faces playing with these🤧💕 pic.twitter.com/HQ5otlrtdz
— Genesis (@gpolitron_) September 27, 2019
Along with the photos of the dolls, Genesis wrote: “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), so I added some to our new baby dolls on my own. I wish everyone could see their faces playing with these.”
Genesis created dolls that have both hearing aids and cochlear implants. She told Romper that the children in her class will gravitate toward the dolls that have the same devices that they have. “It’s so exciting to watch their interactions with [the dolls], and watch as they identify with the doll that resembles them,” Genesis said.
Genesis explained that she thinks this type of inclusivity should be a part of every child’s experience.
“Being an educator, it’s my job to be as inclusive as possible, but really, I believe it should just be part of being a human being. No child should ever feel as if they aren’t ‘normal’ or as if they don’t belong,” she told ScaryMommy.
“I wanted to allow my students to see themselves in toys for once, to feel accepted, and overall be able to have fun playing with toys that look just like them. As an educator for the Deaf, I want my students to be proud of such a special part of their identity. Children’s minds are extremely malleable, and I believe it’s our jobs as adults to mold them into empowered, confident, and most importantly happy little people as best as we can.”
Genesis’ tweet has received over 150,000 likes and over 30,000 retweets as of Sept. 30, so it’s clear that other people support her positive mission.
This is the sweetest thing ever!!!! 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!
— joanna (@jojoboocakes) September 28, 2019
Omg this is so lovely. Thank you for doing this. We need more teachers like you
— vic sanusi (@victoriasanusi) September 28, 2019
this is so wholesome pic.twitter.com/KsPDSeuWRO
— kittu (@InderMann_) September 28, 2019
Genesis seems to be inspiring others to bring this kind of inclusivity to children everywhere.