Model MATES is an event where our young people rock the catwalk alongside professional models. It’s a metaphor showcasing how those on the spectrum can rise up to the occasion when given the opportunity.
The Event’s Goals
- To increase the visibility and presence of people on the autism spectrum in a positive manner and reinforce the need for inclusion.
- To give our young people the opportunity to feel celebrated. This is POWERFUL.
Too often the focus on an autism diagnosis is around a person’s deficits. They are told what they can’t do or how far behind they are. This event is about encouraging them to stand tall, hold their heads high and shine on the catwalk. The effects of which cannot be overstated.
At one of our earlier events, one mother told me that years of psychology, speech therapy, and OT did not have the impact on her child’s self-confidence that this one day has had.
This can change the trajectory of a young person’s life.
But this is ONE event, held annually. How can we replicate this so that more young people on the spectrum feel a sense of purpose and belonging?
Each one of us can personally contribute… How?
- Try extending the hand of friendship to those who find social interaction challenging
- If you are in a position to do so, employ our young people.
1 in 5 Australians have a disability, 65% of people on the autism spectrum are unemployed. If you employ our young people, you are tapping into a new target market because these young people have parents and siblings and we will be loyal to you and your brand! Corporations and businesses spend their marketing budgets seeking new customers…well… here is an untapped market on a silver platter!
I would like to invite other Malls, Shopping Centres and Fashion events to host Model MATES so that this simple message can be spread far and wide.
This is not a charity event, it’s about empowerment….and if you think disability doesn’t relate to you or to business, think again; 1 in 5 Australians have a disability. People with disabilities represent a vast market that is overlooked and largely untapped.
Globally there are 1.3 billion people with disabilities, representing a market the size of China!!! Think about those numbers for your business…