Meet Joss, The New American Girl Doll With a Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the nation’s leading nonprofit organization representing people with hearing loss, is proud to partner with American Girl, the inspiring world of dolls and a subsidiary of Mattel. HLAA and American Girl are teaming up in honor of the company’s 2020 Girl of the Year, Joss Kendrick, to increase education and awareness of hearing loss.

Joss—a fierce athlete with a passion for surfing and competitive cheer who wears a hearing aid —joins American Girl’s lineup of inspirational characters who impart meaningful life lessons to help girls learn and grow with confidence. Whether she’s on her surfboard or in the gym, Joss shows girls the importance of trying new things, pushing past stereotypes, and being a good team player.

American Girl is donating $25,000 to support HLAA’s educational programs. American Girl is also supporting the organization’s 2020 Walk4Hearing with a donation of Joss dolls. And, from January 1, 2020, through the end of the year, the company will collect donations for HLAA at and at American Girl stores nationwide.

“What could be more exciting than to have an American Girl doll be a role model for girls with hearing loss?” said HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley. “HLAA is proud to partner with American Girl to help girls know that, like Joss, they can be and do anything—an empowering message for girls with or without hearing loss. I hope girls who read Joss’s inspiring story will help create awareness about hearing loss among their friends and family.”

Celebrating its 15th year, HLAA’s Walk4Hearing brings families together in 20 cities across the U.S. to encourage hearing health and hearing protection. With more than 48 million Americans living with hearing loss, the Walk4Hearing is a call to action for everyone to do something about hearing loss. American Girl’s support will shine a light on these efforts, with donations funding HLAA’s educational initiatives that inform families about essential resources and technologies and help people with hearing loss pursue life to the fullest.

About HLAA
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support and advocacy. HLAA produces Walk4Hearing events, holds an annual convention, publishes the magazine, Hearing Life, advocates for the rights of people with hearing loss, and has HLAA Chapters across the country. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone 301.657.2248 or visit