A home-grown disability awareness campaign has proved a smash hit on the Internet, racking up millions of views across the world.
The Accept Difference campaign is the brainchild of Early Connections, an alliance of five early intervention services on the Mid North Coast ranging from Taree to Coffs Harbour.
The campaign aims to break down the stigma people with disability experience, particularly in public, and was made possible after the group received federal funding following a grant request last year.
The 30 second video which headlines the campaign has clocked more than nine million views on Facebook and has been shared across the world. The video depicts the plight of a mother and young child shopping together, and encourages bystanders to “Make a difference by accepting difference”.
The video itself is based on the experiences of a Port Macquarie-based family.
Manager of Early Connections Kempsey, Debbie Fraser, said the national success of the video had taken her by surprise.
“I can’t believe in two weeks it went national, it was a terrific response,” Debbie said.
Debbie said the campaign aimed to highlight awareness of people with “hidden disabilities” such as autism.
The campaign encourages bystanders in public to lend a helping hand rather than judge, and Debbie expressed her joy that the message had reached across the world.
“I’m thrilled that it has been so popular, it’s been great,” she said.
The video, filmed in Nambucca Heads, will be used alongside newspaper and outdoor media as part of an intense three-month advertising campaign across the Mid North Coast.