Heralded as a “gesture of acceptance and inclusion”, Kmart is feeling the love for featuring children with disabilities in its Easter catalogue, the first time in the store’s history.
The decision to hire models with disabilities has set social media into a frenzy, with customers flooding the company’s Facebook page to praise the choice.
Christopher Carroll says the department store’s “new catalogue needs to be recognised as a real game changer when it comes to diversity”.
Jason Hameister says the move means a great deal to people living with a disability every day.
“Your gesture of acceptance and inclusion creates small steps towards more public acceptance,” he says.
Two young boys, one with Down syndrome and another with cerebral palsy and in a mobility frame, appear on the pages advertising chocolate eggs and Easter treats.
Kmart agreed to suggestions from a casting company to hire the children. Starting With Julius helps to promote the inclusion of people with disability in Australian advertising and media.
Bronwyn, mother of Cooper, 11, tells Buzzfeed her son felt extremely welcome and proud at the photoshoot.
“He still couldn’t really believe he was in the catalogue!” she says.
“He was so excited to see himself represent Kmart and represent kids who have a disability. He is very proud of who he is including the fact he has cerebral palsy.”
Australian children’s clothing brand Eeni Meeni Miini Moh regularly features children with Down syndrome in its lookbooks and advertising for each new range.
Last year Target also received praise for including a little girl on crutches in one of its catalogues, proving girls with disabilities can be princesses too, while bodies of all shapes and sizes modelled swimwear and summer outfits for Target’s Aussie summer catalogue.