No big whoop?

The special needs blogosphere and social media outlets are abuzz about this recent Target ad featuring a boy with Down Syndrome. This kid is cute. Really cute. It’s great to see him there.

The big news isn’t the fact that he’s in the shot; what people seem to be focusing on is the fact that Target didn’t make a big deal about it.

I wonder, though, how they could have “made a big deal” if they wanted to. Send out press releases? Add a little arrow pointing to him with a label, “Check it out, we’re really cool”? I don’t think so. They didn’t make a big deal about it because simply including him is a big deal. Enough said.

I don’t mean to sound cynical. I am glad to see all kinds of people portrayed in media, there not because they’re a token representing a particular slice of the market, but because they’re just there. And if it gets folks talking about and encouraging true inclusion (like this great post by Shannon Dingle about the ad and creating inclusive religious communities), then I’m definitely satisfied.

We can celebrate this milestone. But let’s not say that we’re done, OK?

Here’s how we’ll know when we’re done: when all children are included, not only in photo shoots but in schools and communities and in real lives all around the world, when no one makes a big deal about it, and no one needs to point out that we didn’t make a big deal about it.

Cristin Lind

Facilitator, consultant, speaker for better health and care through patient-professional partnership. Passionate about helping change agents build courage and agency. She/her.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hear hear. When I read the hubbub, my first reaction was, “Ummmm, aren’t they about 35 years behind Sesame Street on this?” Do you remember this absolute joy? I do!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2WrNV4llOA
    A precious memory of many a childhood–and “no big whoop.” Thumbs up to another great post.
    –Marcy

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