Get-hooked December 2, 2021
#Inclusive – Madeline Stuart talks about lifestyle and mental health disruptions due to COVID-19
In the fourth story of our series “#Inclusive – Building Resilience post COVID-19 in the lives of people with disabilities” we feature Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down syndrome. She has been called the world’s first professional adult model with Down syndrome.
The series is an initiative by NewzHook marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) which is celebrated every year on 3rd December.
Know Madeline Stuart
Madeline: My name is Madeline Stuart, I have just turned 25. Born in Brisbane Australia, for the past 6 years I have been travelling the world modelling and advocating for people with disabilities. I have walked at 8 seasons of NYFW and was the first person with Down Syndrome to walk at LFW, PFW, Mercedes Benz fashion week China, in the Middle East at Runway Dubai and in Russia.
I have also worked in Lebanon, the Ukraine, South Africa, Prague, Canada, Uganda and many more places with the local Disability organizations and media trying to educate people about disabilities and inclusion. I am the only person in history with an intellectual disability to get a O1 working visa in the USA and I own a dance school for people with disabilities call InsideOutside dance which operates across SE Qld.
How did the pandemic affect people with disabilities?
Madeline: People with disabilities are quite often isolated but during the Pandemic this became much worse as a lot of people with disabilities have health conditions so they had to isolate so they did not get sick. Their mental health was affected as some did not understand why they could not leave their houses and even the ones that did understand felt totally alone. It has been a very difficult time for everyone.
Experience during the COVID-19 pandemic
Madeline: During covid and even now I have not been able to travel so most of my work which was overseas got cancelled. It has been very hard. I have been spending a lot of time with my friends which is nice. For 5 years before Covid I spent a lot of time overseas so I had not been able to see them so this has been a big positive. I have also spent a lot of time expanding my dance school so that has also been a bonus. Being back home has been fantastic but I am ready to start travelling and working again.
Things that you would like to see in the post COVID-19 society?
Madeline: Covid going away or changing so it is similar to a common cold, people being able to go back to a normal life and being able to travel safely again.
- #Inclusive – Meryl Evans believes that celebrating differences can make this world a better place
- #Inclusive – Brandon Cole shares the positives and the negatives of the pandemic
- #Inclusive – Prajith Jaipal emphasizes on collective action to build economies that deliver an inclusive growth
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