Special Needs Now

Hooray for Target's Inclusive Halloween Ad!

Target's adorable Halloween ad features a child with a disability, making it the latest in a series of inclusive ads.

target halloween ad model with arm braces

Another ad featuring a model with a disability has made the news this week. Just like they did for last year's December holiday season, Target's created a wonderfully inclusive sales circular for the Halloween season. The advertisement, which features children in a variety of costumes, also includes a girl with leg braces and crutches in the center of the ad, wearing the wildly popular Elsa costume (from the movie Frozen).

And parents are celebrating this inclusion. As Jen Spickenagel Kroll, a Michigan mom of a daughter with special needs, wrote on her Facebook page: "Dear Target, I love you. Thank you for including a child with braces and arm crutches into your advertising campaign! And as Elsa, no less! My daughter (with arm crutches and prosthetic legs) is going to FLIP when she sees this! 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. Normalizing disabilities in children is PRICELESS."

As a mom to a child with autism, I couldn't agree more. I love it when retailers include kids of all abilities in their ads because it destigmatizes having a disability and it's a reminder to us all of how diverse humans are.

This Target ad is the latest in what's shaping up to be a great year for models with disabilities. Some of this year's highlights include:

In January, the #IMREADY campaign called for more models with special needs.

Not long after that, the "Changing the Face of Beauty" campaign really took off and actress Jamie Brewer (who has Down Syndrome) walked in NYC Fashion Week.

Male actor RJ Mitte, who has cerebral palsy, also walked in a runway show in Milan.

And Madeline Stuart, a model with Down Syndrome made headlines when she landed a modeling contract and then went on to do several incredible photo shoots.

There are still a few months left in 2015, and I for one can't wait to see even more inclusive ads this year that truly represent the full, beautiful spectrum of humanity!

Jamie Pacton lives near Portland where she drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons. Find her at www.jamiepacton.com, Facebook (Jamie Pacton), and Twitter @jamiepacton.