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A boy with Down's syndrome is a new model for clothing brand River Island. Joseph Hale from Grimsby joins other children in the fashion line's Kids Squad advert to show off the smart, new attire.
A post on Instagram reads: "Ultimate #SquadGoals Every RI kid is different, but there's one thing they all want - cool clothes (and a big party)! Introducing the stars of the #RIKidsSquad!"
Joseph is titled as a 'Traditionalist' in the ad, while wearing formal shoes, trousers and a green, long-sleeve shirt. His mum, Karen, has told the Grimsby Telegraph how delighted she that her son is involved.
She added: "Disability should not define them. Joseph is a person. His Down's is a small part of him. There is a lot more to see than the face value.
"They have a physical disability, yes, but people have preconceived ideas - you need to see the person beneath."
Joseph agreed that it was a fun day at the photoshoot. He told the newspaper: "It was nice to show the video to friends at school. People can take selfies with me now.
"River Island made it comfortable for me and I really enjoyed it. I was trying to get everyone to dance to the music. It is good to be able to champion disabilities."
It's Joseph's first modelling job, but it's not his first experience in front of a camera. His performance group auditioned for the next season of Britain's Got Talent just last month. He's a member of the Zedebee Performing Arts Group, an inclusive drama group which works with people who have learning difficulties and disabilities.
They say their work helps people gain confidence, build self-esteem and develop social, life and physical skills.
Joseph's dad hopes that this will inspire other companies to include people from all backgrounds and abilities in future campaigns. He told Huffington Post: "Advertising can put across in a very positive way, that even if a person has a special need and or a disability they still have emotions, thoughts, feelings, and dreams the same as anyone else.
"And, given the correct guidance, support and right opportunities to be included in everything, they can thrive and achieve the most wonderful things.
"The impact of more brands including mixed abilities in advertising could be huge - not just for our son but for anyone with a special need and/or a disability."
Featured Image Credit: River Island
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