Changing the Face of Advertising With Special Needs Models

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It’s back to school and if you’ve had your television on lately, it’s likely you have seen the abundance of ads promoting clothes, school supplies and absolutely anything else a kid may need to conquer the classroom. But it’s what you don’t see in these ads that inspired mom and photographer Katie Driscoll to take things into her own hands.

Katie Driscoll with her daughter, Grace. Photo: Maryelle Godinez of Multiple Blessings Photography

Katie Driscoll with her daughter, Grace.
Photo: Maryelle Godinez of Multiple Blessings Photography

Katie, from Palos Park, Illinois, is the mom of six children including Grace, who has Down’s syndrome. Frustrated with the lack of children with disabilities represented in back to school advertisements she has created Changing The Face of Beauty, a campaign to integrate individuals with disabilities into general advertising.

“1 in 4 people in the United States have a disability. That’s too many people underrepresented in our media today. It is our goal that all people will be represented all the time. It is just right,” Katie explains.

Putting her professional photography skills to work, Change The Face of Beauty features an online gallery of kids and young adults with disabilities who are available to appear in advertisements.

Katie, with the help of co-founder Steve English, markets the gallery of special needs models to small businesses with the goal that more of them will integrate individuals with disabilities into their brand marketing materials. “Our hope is to start a movement and inspire other photographers and business owners to participate in our campaign so that we can make a difference nationwide,” she says.

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The photos included in this post are from the recent back to school campaign that Kathryn shot, featuring children from the Change The Face of Beauty website along side other children who do not have disabilities.

“I feel it is my duty to help pave the way to an even more accepting world for my daughter. A world where she can walk down the street and people will wave hello instead of looking away. We are a visual world. What we see we believe, the more we include children and adults with different abilities, the more opportunity we create for their future.”

We couldn’t agree more!

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You can learn more about Katie and her awesome family by visiting her blog 5 boys + 1 girl = 6.

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