Katie Driscoll is a proud mother of one girl and five boys, and she just loves to click her little ones in action. However, what makes her pictures special is that her daughter was born with Down’s Syndrome and yet, is the star attraction of her acclaimed images.
It is through the images that were captured in the lens of Driscoll’s camera; the mother is trying to change every erroneous perception that people carry about any other differently abled individual living among them. Grace, her four year old daughter, whose presence continues to inspire and guide Driscoll to find ways in-order to enhance the lifestyle of many.
The past few years which were spend in capturing her daughter’s emotion and sharing it with the rest of the world brought in a revelation for Driscoll. She found it intriguing to find that advertisements and ad agencies do not use any images of people with disabilities in their campaign.
After receiving quite an encouraging response to her own blog, which had Grace’s pictures and managing to get her featured on a couple of advertisements, she wanted to do something more. Thus, started her quest to change the face of beauty with the Facebook page and website christened, ChangingTheFaceOfBeauty[dot]org, with her partner, English.
Through this initiative launched in the spring of 2012, they hoped to put up a central gallery of online images. This gallery could then be accessed by campaign managers, who can consider the children with disabilities, for their advertisements. They aimed to play an active role in ensuring that the children get the right platform and assistance in getting the right kind of attention, something which they rightfully deserved. And the children managed to impress, much to the relief of both Driscoll and English.
Even the limited number of images didn't deter Driscoll, who went ahead and made a short appeal to parents to send photographs. Word soon spread and she soon received professional photographs from all over the world, send in by parents of disabled children wanting to take a step towards change. The response was indeed overwhelming for the partners who soon got the wheels chugging ahead.
English and Driscoll feel that, as more disabled children feature in mainstream ads, the more they will be considered part of the mainstream world. The perception around such children which they subsequently have to live through much of their adult life could change as the perception of the majority of the society changes around them.
Pushing their campaign to success, are many companies that have been contacted by Driscoll and have joined in her movement. These companies have found genuine interest in featuring these children in their campaigns. Driscoll and English have ensured that with each ad that runs with these children, a positive change needs to be bought about in the society ensuring better lives for everyone, irrespective of their physical ability.
A lot of eyes are closed today in prayers, wishing them great success ahead, hoping that children with disability would soon find themselves confidently walking into the mainstream without fear.