Barbie’s line of Inspiring Women dolls has a new member: Helen Keller. She’s the latest historical figure to join the collection, which includes female role models like Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Maya Angelou and Amelia Earhart. Keller lost her sight and hearing at age two and with help from her tutor Annie Sullivan, she learned to communicate using sign language and to read and write in braille. She became the first blind and deaf person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and she was a famous speaker, educator and advocate who helped found the American Civil Liberties Union.
To ensure her doll and its surroundings were authentic and accessible to the blind and low-vision community, Mattel teamed up with the National Federation of the Blind. There is braille on the doll’s packaging and on a book held by her. The Helen Keller Barbie wears a striped skirt and ruffled blouse that was in style when she was a student in the early 1900s
“Representation comes in all forms and we recognize that the blind and low vision community is often overlooked, with their stories going untold,” explains Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s senior vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls. “We hope that by introducing children to Helen Keller’s story of perseverance and determination, they will be inspired to dream bigger than ever before.”