Blink and you’ll miss it, but the latest Honey Maid commercial in their “This is Wholesome” series features a motorized wheelchair-using adult woman teaching a young girl how to use the microwave to make herself a snack. It’s almost a good example of including a person with a disability in a parental role, but falls just short as the captions identify the woman as the girl’s aunt instead of her mother. Way to dispel the stereotype that wheelchair users can’t have kids, Honey Maid. But at least the ad features a genuine disabled person, not an able-bodied person pretending to be disabled!
The aunt in the ad is Stephanie Woodward, a disability rights lawyer and activist who is currently director of advocacy at The Center for Disability Rights. She signed on for the project, Honey Maid says, because she—and many in the disabled community—want real disabled people featured on TV and in the media, not actors playing disabled people.
Woodward was also drawn to the simple realism of the ad in a media landscape where disabled people are often portrayed “in either a pity or a superhero light.” (By the way, while there is much debate around the language of disability, Woodward prefers the term disabled person to person with a disability. “I am a proud disabled woman and prefer not to identify with ‘people first’ language as it separates me from my disability identity,” she says.)
The latest spot coincides with this weekend’s 25th anniversary of the signing into law of 1990’s Americans With Disabilities Act. Honey Maid says the ad is also one of the first to include audio descriptions on the 15-second TV version—describing what’s happening on screen for blind and low-vision audiences—along with standard closed captioning.
The audio description spots will air on NBC and ABC networks only (NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, ABC). The general spot will air on Nick@Nite, Lifetime, LMN and CBS.
Read more at AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/honey-maids-latest-wholesome-family-features-disabled-aunt-and-her-niece-166102