Hearing Aids are a device offered directly through American Girl which allows a doll to display hearing loss with visible hearing aids attached to her ear or ears.
As a 18" modification
Starting in 2012, any 18" doll can have semi-permanent hearing aids placed on a doll's ears. Hearing Aids can be applied to the left, right, or both ears for a standard fee of $14; there is no additional fee for two ears if they are done at the same time. Hearing aids can be added at an online purchase on any Truly Me or Create Your Own doll; there is no additional charge included with a Create Your own doll. Any other dolls (such as most Girls of the Year or Historical Character dolls) must either be ordered by calling in or be shipped to American Girl directly and have the hearing aids applied via the American Girl Hospital.
At a store, hearing aids can be applied at purchase and will be done at the Salon.
Hearing aids are not available for Bitty Baby or Bitty Twins, presumably due to to the lower target age of three; they are also not available for WellieWishers due to being improperly sized for the dolls.
The parts of the hearing aids consist of a molded over-the-ear hearing aid (pink and white) with a hole for the post, and a pink post to hold the hearing aid in place. The post is the size of a standard American Girl earring.
A hole is drilled slightly below and behind the ear; this is where the post is slid through the hearing aid and holds the hearing aid to the doll's ear. The resulting hole is sized for American Girl earring posts. Holes are drilled with a Dremel (power tool) and are thus permanent.
Included with hearing aids is a pamphlet on sign language, including the finger-spelling alphabet.
Joss Kendrick's Hearing Aids
In 2020, the Girl of the Year Joss Kendrick was released with a new style of hearing aid as the character has hearing loss. The hearing aid is blue with clear tubing and ear mold, and the ear mold "ball" allows application and removal without holes by popping it in and out of the right ear.
The Joss Mold was designed to accommodate the hearing aid without hole piercings.