Improving Disability Representation for Brands

What can a brand do to improve disability representation? Hire disabled people.

Disability is disproportionately underrepresented in not only visible ways for branding, but also behind the scenes. Hire disabled designers, artists, writers, campaign managers, marketing managers, etc. Working with disabled people in branding is essential in creating an authentic disability representation.

Have a variety of disabled people modeling your items on your website. Think about it, women with disabilities wear lingerie too. When was the last time you saw a Victoria’s Secret ad with a disabled model?

We see many brands partnering with disability groups, but it’s rare to see a disabled person actually pictured on a brand’s website or in the regular marketing materials. We need to normalize disabled bodies year-round, not just for special “diversity” campaigns. Put some emphasis on power wheelchair users, mobility aids, different genders, BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color),etc.

So what can you do to advocate for change?

Reach out to brands you’re in contact with about a need for disabled body representation.

Buy from brands who support disability representation. You can google a list of brands that do, these include Target, Tommy Hilfiger and more.

Amplify the work of disabled folks in branding by sharing the work of writers, stylists, models who have disabilities. Direct Message the brand! They read their messages more than you think.

By working together and supporting each other we can amplify each others voices.

For more information about advocating for disability representation and other disability causes you can follow Alex Dacy, the Wheelchair Rapunzel on Facebook, Instagram and her blog.