Two young disabled campaigners are to use their high media profiles to provide support for other victims of discrimination, raise awareness and help change the law.
The new Imperfect campaign is headed by artist Sophie Morgan and law student Riam Dean.
Morgan appeared on the BBC reality shows Britain’s Missing Top Model and Beyond Boundaries, while Dean won a high-profile discrimination case against the US clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch in August.
The two young women launched Imperfect after meeting at the fashion show at this year’s Beyond Boundaries Live exhibition.
Morgan said they were inspired to launch the campaign by their own personal experiences of discrimination.
They hope their website, which includes a forum, will provide online advice, information and support for anyone who has been ostracized or faced discrimination.
Morgan said she hopes the campaign will empower other disabled people to “walk in Riam’s footsteps” and fight back against discrimination.
Morgan said: “If they are a victim of discrimination or intolerance or prejudice or discrimination, if they feel they want support, the idea is that there are people to go to for advice on how to take it further.
“There is still so much discrimination against disabled people. We want to provide the support that may not be out there and encourage empowerment for younger people.”
She hopes there will eventually be a telephone support line, and possibly mentoring of other young people.
They are also keen to help push for a change in the law following the controversial Lewisham v Malcolm House of Lords ruling in 2008.
The ruling weakened disability discrimination law and meant Dean lost her claim for direct disability discrimination against Abercrombie & Fitch, even though she was successful in proving the firm harassed her and failed to make a reasonable adjustment under the Disability Discrimination Act.
The Beyond Boundaries exhibition team have helped to fund the campaign’s start-up, and the sale of Imperfect tee-shirts will also boost campaign funds.
Morgan said she was even more excited by the next step: an Imperfect clothing label designed by graduates of the Royal College of Fashion.
For more information, visit www.imperfect.uk.com
1 September 2009