CoorDown, Italy's national organization for people with Down syndrome, examines the euphemistic term "special needs" in its latest PSA, using humor to highlight how their needs might not be so different from those of anyone else.
A film by Publicis New York, directed by Wayne McClammy of Hungry Man, imagines various humorous scenarios where Down syndrome people have "special needs" with a twist. They're massaged by a cat, they eat dinosaur eggs, are woken up by a celebrity or have to walk around in a giant suit of armour. It ends with the message that what people with Down Syndrome really needs is "education, jobs, opportunities, friends and some love."
The film stars Lauren Potter, the actress with Down syndrome who played the role of Becky Jackson in "Glee," and John McGinley, best known for his role as Dr. Perry Cox on "Scrubs," and whose 18-year old son Max has Down syndrome. Also in the cast are Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt, two friends with Down syndrome who created the movie "Spring Break Zombie Massacre," and Jared Kozak, an actor with Down syndrome known for "Orson's Last Dance," "Leader of the Pack" and "Teens Wanna Know."
The campaign, running on YouTube, directs viewers online to www.NotSpecialNeeds.com, where they can find out more about the real needs of people with Down Syndrome.
It will be presented to the Conference of the World Down Syndrome Day, which takes place March 21 in New York, at the headquarters of the United Nations.