Celebrities Take Aim At ‘Special Needs’
With a new short film, a handful of famous faces are using offbeat humor to question whether the needs of people with Down syndrome truly are “special.”
Dubbed “Not Special Needs,” the two-minute clip stars “Glee” actress Lauren Potter and features actor John McGinley of “Scrubs.”
“People with Down syndrome have special needs. Special needs? Really?” Potter says in the video.
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The actress, who has the chromosomal disorder, then goes on to suggest several hypothetical needs that might make people with Down syndrome special. For example, she says it would be special if they needed to eat dinosaur eggs, wear a suit of armor or be massaged by a cat.
“What we really need is education, jobs and opportunities, friends and some love, just like everybody else,” Potter says. “Are these needs special?”
Produced by the advertising agency Publicis New York for the Italian Down syndrome group CoorDown, the film is being presented Tuesday at the World Down Syndrome Day Conference at the United Nations in New York.
“The reality is people with Down syndrome do not have different or special needs, although they may sometimes meet those needs in different ways, they have the same needs as all of us,” said Andy Bird, chief creative officer at Publicis New York. “We hope our film maybe goes a little way to changing how people view those with Down syndrome.”