Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A New Marketing Campaign Will Change The Way The World Sees People With Disabilities

The annual return to school for kids of all ages is upon us again, believe it or not. Although it's an exciting time for many, there's a large number of kids who consistently feel left out of the whole back-to-school shenanigans. 
Children with disabilities feel as though they can't take part in the festivities because they aren't represented in the general "back-to-school" image. When we consider the facts, this is actually an alarming situation because, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, roughly 13% of all public school students require special education services because of many different learning disabilities. Some of these conditions include an inhibited ability to read, write, or speak, as well as other emotional disruptions and developmental delays. 

Where do we often see the representational neglect of these children? In advertising campaigns specifically designed for back to school. It's pretty unbelievable to think that this has been the case for so long, but that is soon going to change, permanently. 

This is Cora Slocum. She's an adorable four-year-old girl with Down syndrome.  

Cora recently landed a huge modeling contract with an American footwear company called Livie & Luca. 

Little Cora will be the star of the show in Livie & Luca's 2015 back-to-school advertising campaign. 

The campaign itself will also promote the hashtag #ImGoingBackToSchoolToo and feature a diverse array of children. 

The company chose Cora to be the center of attention after they worked with the non-profit Changing the Face of Beauty.

Katie Driscoll (CTFB founder) said, “I believe globally we’re changing the way people look at models as well as people with differences, and that makes me so very happy.”

Driscoll was the initiator of this movement and the first to move towards back-to-school ad campaigns that include people of any and all abilities. 

Driscoll is a Chicago-based photographer with six children, one of whom has Down syndrome. While raising her daughter she started to notice the lack of representation children with disabilities had in the media. So what else was there to do than change that? And that's exactly what she did. 

Driscoll, through Changing the Face of Beauty, did a photo shoot that included ALL children without discrimination and promoted inclusivity.    

Here's what Driscoll and her team came up with. 

This self-initiated campaign blew up and went viral and it became very clear that this concept was going to take off. 

Now, Changing the Face of Beauty has influenced over 100 companies, in four different countries. 

These people are now dedicated to developing advertising campaigns that include models with disabilities. 

And it doesn't seem like these photos could be any more adorable. 


These photos have become the impetus for serious change that's bound to keep on growing and influencing others. 

As Driscoll said before, such campaigns certainly are changing the way people look at models and people with differences. 

As well, Driscoll recently signed model Amanda Booth and her son Micah to work for Changing the Face of Beauty. 

Micah has Down syndrome and now, with his mom, will be the first ambassador of the organization. 

Booth obviously has very strong opinions on the topic and is excited for the changes this endeavor can bring. 

She said, "I understand firsthand what being in the media means to other people and how that affects the way you're treated. It is that reason exactly that inclusion in that realm will open the rest of the world's eyes."

The #ImGoingBackToSchoolToo campaign has had seriously positive responses and has inspired people to use the hashtag frequently. 

The concept promotes inclusivity and pride and is essential going forward. 

And since back to school is a hectic time that can be stressful...'s pretty wonderful to see people take a step back and appreciate how beautiful this movement is, and will continue to be. 

Main image source: Changing the Face of Beauty

Collage image source: 1. Changing the Face of Beauty 2. Changing the Face of Beauty   


Author: verified_user