Madeline Stuart, Model at New York Fashion Week
While designers have used models with physical disabilities for some years, casting Madeline carries new significance. “People with intellectual disabilities generally see images of themselves as being paid sub-minimum wage, of not being successful, of being in a sheltered environment,” says O’Connell. “Madeline is setting a new standard.”
Rosanne was told by doctors six minutes after Madeline was born that her daughter had Down’s Syndrome. “They said that she would probably only live until she was about six or seven years old, and she’d never achieve anything,” she says.