The Art of Advertising by Jan Ditchfield

(This blog post is personal. They are my real thoughts. Mine and mine alone.)

Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths.  ~Edgar A. Shoaff

It stands to reason that coming out of a Paralympic year we’d see an increase in mainstream advertising using persons with disabilities in commercials and print campaigns. This year my feeds were inundated with spots, ads and conversations about equality and mainstream recognition. Working in the world of para, you tend to seek out examples of this and get lost in the belief that if you are seeing it, then everyone must be; positive examples of persons with disabilities. What we tend to forget is that we have knowledge of this industry and the community which the average viewer doesn’t. We’re actively seeking out this information instead of waiting for it to be presented to us. The average viewer isn’t doing the same. We have knowledge on the backgrounds of the talent who have been cast. The average viewer doesn’t. It’s the average viewer that mainstream advertising is targeting, not those of us who are already converted. And when you step outside of our circle and look at the use of persons with a disability in marketing campaigns from that vantage point, you are greeted with a shockingly different perspective. Continue reading

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GIVE UP, GIVE IN, OR GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT by Jan Ditchfield

(This blog post is personal. They are my real thoughts. Mine and mine alone.)

Image of Brian Cowie and Jan Ditchfield

With Brian Cowie at 70.3 Worlds in Clearwater 2010.

I have been asked a million times since I began working in my field why I do what I do and why as an able-bodied person I made my career advocating for persons with disabilities. I’ve answered it the same way a million times; “It’s not about me, so it doesn’t really matter why.”

I’ve stuck with that same line for almost ten years now, but more and more I have been thinking about the “why”. Not why I do it or why I started. But why I stay. Continue reading