See Target's Halloween ad that has disability advocates cheering
Roughly two billion children will dress up as one of the characters from Disney's 2013 hit, Frozen, for Halloween so it makes sense that Target's fall catalogue would feature a child dressed as the beloved ice queen, Elsa.
"My daughter (with arm crutches and prosthetic legs) is going to FLIP when she sees this!" Jen Spickenagel Kroll wrote on Facebook. Other parents cheered the big box retailer for including a child with a physical impairment, causing the ad to be shared thousands of times on social media.
Approximately five percent of school age children in the U.S. have a physical or developmental disability, according to figures compiled in the 2010 census. In a media culture that values images of perfection, these children are absent from advertisements, TV shows, and movies.
Increased visibility is a key factor in creating equal treatment for people with disabilities, as it normalizes them in society, according to advocates and parents. Children with disabilities are two to three times more likely to experience bullying in school than their peers and face higher rates of unemployment and poverty as they get older and eventually enter the workforce.
"Including children with special needs into advertising makes them less of a spectacle to the general public when they venture out into the real world," Kroll wrote. "Normalizing disabilities in children is PRICELESS."
The folks over at Target think so too. They also featured a toddler with Down syndrome in a toy advertisement last year and are committed to showcasing diversity in their advertising.
"We're humbled by the support we've received recently," Jeff Jones, Target's chief marketing officer, told the Huffington Post. "We look forward to a day when diversity of all types in advertising is no longer a topic of discussion, but a way of life."
Watch the video below about the nonprofit that creates costumes for kids in wheelchairs: