Everyone wishes the world was a more accepting, inclusive place. The hard part isn’t realizing that desire, but actually doing something about it. But one mom finally figured out a solution–Katie Driscoll is a mom, writer, photographer, and the founder of Changing The Face Of Beauty, which is a nonprofit that aims to empower people with disabilities by advocating for their representation in advertising and media.
Why did she create the organization? Because of her own daughter, Grace, who was born with Down syndrome. Having a child who has a disability definitely makes you more aware of the fact that many kids, and adults, are not represented in the media, simply because they don’t fit the narrow view of what a “typical” person looks like.
According to their website, the organization functions by creating partnerships with retailers as a way to increase the representation of people living with disabilities through marketing and educational programs. Since 2012, they have worked with over 100 companies, including Tori Spelling’s clothing line, Little Maven. They also helped put Jamie Brewer, the first model with Down syndrome, on the runway at New York Fashion Week.
READ: The First Line of Dolls with Disabilities Is Finally Here
Driscoll has used her personal experience to successfully help others, which is a perfect illustration of how a dream can truly become a reality–and in this case, the dream is for a more accepting world. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Driscoll stated how more visibility also means more jobs, not just fashion ads:
“I want to show people that we really are more alike than different. I believe that when more people are exposed and have the opportunity to see differences, the more accepting they’ll just naturally be.
We firmly believe that the more people with disabilities are seen, the more opportunity there will be for employment. With employment comes independence and, you know, really participating in society like everyone else.”
According to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, 3% of the U.S. population are living with intellectual disabilities in the U.S., yet only 44% of adults with intellectual disabilities are in the U.S. workforce.
Living in a society where people are made to feel invisible just because of being or looking different is not a society that I feel proud to live in. Let’s all take a leaf out of Driscoll’s book, and think of ways we can all be more inclusive.
Watch her talk about her organization below:
This Mother of a Child with Down Syndrome Is Changing Beauty S…Katie Driscoll launched Changing the Face of Beauty to encourage representation of people with disabilities in advertising and media.
Posted by HuffPost Parents on Tuesday, January 19, 2016