Those of us in the disability field look for inclusionary practices everywhere- education, employment, housing and in recreation and leisure activities. We demand economic policies that will not require people with disabilities to remain in poverty to receive the supports they need. While we expect inclusion from our institutions and applaud the vision of funders who support inclusion, we may not have noticed that retailers have taken notice that people with disabilities and their families are consumers.
It was with this in mind that I noticed, in one of Target’s holiday circulars, an adorable little boy in Santa pajamas seated in a Disney Car. The fact that this handsome boy has Down syndrome did not escape my appreciative gaze. But, what I celebrate is that he was just there- on the same page as an Asian girl riding an electric scooter. He was not in a special catalogue, Differently Abled, that Toys R Us produces for children with a variety of disabilities. He was just in a typical Sunday circular and in being there he represents what we have been trying to tell the world: children with disabilities are more alike than they are different. Nowhere is this evident more than in being kids, choosing toys and having fun.
So while the media was bashing Target for their serious breach of customers credit information, I drove out of my way, straight to Target, to show my support for their inclusionary advertising practices.
I did pay cash.
Jo Ann Simons is a Disability Advisor to the Ruderman Family Foundation and President and CEO of the Cardinal Cushing Centers