A modeling agency specifically for children and young adults with Down syndrome is launching this month in Ireland and it is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
The agency, called “I’m Able 2 Model,” is already representing 20 individuals ages 5 to 33 with the chromosomal disorder. Participants were selected based on the level of confidence they displayed before the camera, organizers say.
In Ireland, Down syndrome occurs in about 1 out of every 500 births. That’s nearly twice the prevalence rate seen in the United States.
The idea behind the agency is to increase representation of people with disabilities in the media, organizers say, adding that they will work to secure jobs for the models in advertising, catalogs and on the catwalk at competitive wages, reports the (UK) Press Association.