A stigma surrounds people with special needs, keeping them from receiving the same level of attention and accreditation as others; thankfully, times are changing, and leaders like 11-year-old Grace Isabella Wharton are leading the charge to show that people with special needs are just like everyone else.
Grace is an example for others. The 11-year-old blonde has a bright, effervescent smile that can brighten any room. She also has Down syndrome. The young girl is a true go-getter who doesn’t let anything stand in her way.
Currently, she is represented by Zebedee Management, which has over 300 clients with special needs. Down syndrome children and adults are sometimes considered social outcasts.
Grace’s model agency was founded by Laura Johnson in order to highlight model diversity. Johnson told the Daily Mail:
“We believed there wasn’t enough opportunity in the fashion, advertising, television, and film industries for people with disabilities, and we wanted to make a difference,” Johnson said.
Grace believed in the agency’s co-founder from the beginning. “We knew Grace would do a fantastic job right away.”. This beautiful little creature is all smiles and confidence,” she said.
She continued by saying how popular the young model was. The co-founder remarked, “She is without a doubt one of our success stories.”
The first step toward accepting and eventually including people with Down’s Syndrome is familiarity. However, more exposure is required for people with Down’s Syndrome to truly be accepted and cherished members of society. One picture shoot at a time, Grace proves to the world that people with Down syndrome are just as valuable as everyone else.
Cheryl told the Daily Mail that there is so much stigma surrounding Down syndrome.
Grace has posed for Disney, CBeebies, and the BBC since she was signed. Her mother took her to a photo shoot for disabled people. In addition to raising awareness about Grace’s condition, Grace’s appearance in large advertising normalizes the presence of persons with Down syndrome in everyday life. Even though they may require assistance at times, persons with Down syndrome can live active, fulfilling lives and make valuable contributions to their communities.
Grace has been through a lot since she was born. “She has had a few major operations but has never been seriously ill,” Cheryl explained.
Her low muscle tone makes it difficult for her to make the sounds necessary to create words.
Our goal must be to convey the idea that she is just a little girl who happens to have Down syndrome.” It’s not a big deal; she is a tough little girl who will always be our daughter,” Cheryl said.
Cheryl’s father John said, “She has always managed to overcome whatever she has faced.”. “She is our little fighter.”
“She continues to challenge everyone who said she couldn’t accomplish anything,” he stated proudly.