I have seen several posts on Facebook about a new ad for Guinness and its representation of disability lately. I’ll admit I didn’t pay much attention at first. Today, I read a post from a Mom who has a child with Down syndrome so I decided to actually watch the commercial for the first time.
Then, I felt I needed to read an opposing critique. (There are more out there)
The illustration used by a Mom trying to explain inclusion seems pretty simple, and powerful. But it has to be explained.
I think, and this is just my opinion, that the commercial does a good job at explaining it. Do I wish they hadn’t used the word “buddy?” Yes, I do. Do I wish expensive wheelchairs were available for anybody who wanted to form a team and socialize with their friends? Yes, I do. But considering all this, I’m glad somebody is offering something for discussion.
Let’s face it. Lots of guys watch beer commercials. Guys who don’t normally even think about disability watch beer commercials. We can continue to preach to the choir, or we can think of new ways to get the discussion moving in different directions… Yes, it could have been done better, but at least it’s out there and people are talking about it.
Josh was never “included” in any meaningful way, despite my best efforts. He didn’t get invited to birthday parties by kids in the mainstreamed classes. He didn’t get his own date to the prom. So from the perspective of a mother who wishes things were different and continues to fight for change, I think this commercial is more of a plus than it is a minus.
What do YOU think?