A fashion photographer whose subjects have included model Cindy Crawford is turning his lens on people with disabilities in an effort to help teens learn about differences.

Through an initiative called the Pearls Project, fashion photographer Rick Guidotti photographed 11 young people from across the country with a range of disabilities — everything from muscular dystrophy to a rare joint condition known as arthrogryposis multiplex congenita.

The photos were then used to spark discussion among students in a variety of classes at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, N.J. In biology, students were able to consider what it’s like to have a genetic disorder while examining the science behind different conditions. And in philosophy class, students questioned what beauty truly is.

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As part of the project, the photo subjects also agreed to blog about their lives and answer questions via email. The high school students said the interactions opened their eyes to what life is like for those with disabilities.

Next year, the initiative is expected to touch even more lives, with five additional high schools across the country already signed on to participate, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.