How Advertising Can Finally Get Real About Representing Disability

Advocates say the industry is waking up to the need for inclusion onscreen and behind the camera

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Depictions of disability in advertising tend to fall within one of two camps: evoke inspiration or pity. Rarely are disabled people shown as layered, three-dimensional humans; instead, they are othered, stereotyped, stigmatized or ignored altogether.

But when 15% of the global population is disabled—a striking fact highlighted by the International Paralympic Committee’s recent “#WeThe15” campaign—that is “too many to consider as abnormal or different, and too many to marginalize or ignore,” said Laura Rogers, global creative director at adam&eveDDB, the agency behind “#WeThe15.”




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This story first appeared in the Sept. 13, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.