People with disabilities are often looked down upon by society, but thankfully things are changing, and frontrunners like 8-year-old Grace Isabella Wharton are opening the gates for a new generation which shows that those with special needs are in no way different than everyone else.
Grace is a blond model who is smart, bubbly and can light up a room with her smile. She also has Down syndrome.
Grace has signed a modeling contract with Zebedee Management, a modeling agency which has more than 300 clients with disabilities.
And while familiarity is one of the first steps toward acceptance and inclusion, people with down syndrome need more exposure in order to become truly accepted and celebrated members of society. What makes them unique is precisely their differences and Grace sets a prime example that people with Down syndrome are just as valuable as everyone else.
In an interview for the Daily Mail, Cheryl, Grace’s mother said:
“There’s such a lot of negativity surrounding Down syndrome,”
Grace has now modeled for BBC, CBeebies, as well as Disney since she was signed.
It all began when her mother took her to a photoshoot for disabled people. To see her daughter in ad campaigns that have nothing to do with her disability is refreshing; instead of solely raising awareness about the condition, Grace’s presence in big advertisements normalizes the presence of those with Down syndrome in everyday life. At times, they may need help, but people with Down syndrome can still enjoy active, fulfilling lives and contribute to society in meaningful ways.
“Grace has been through a lot since she was born. She has had some major surgeries, but she’s never been really ill”, said Cheryl.
Grace is still struggling with weak muscle tone, so it is difficult for her to make the sounds needed for the forming of words.
“It is very important for us to get the message across that she is just a little girl who happens to have Down Syndrome. It’s no big deal, she is a feisty little girl and will always just be our daughter,” Cheryl continued.
“She’s always come through everything that she was faced with. She’s our little fighter.” her father, John, added.
Check out Grace’s appearance on Barcroft TV in the video below.
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