Tracey Harding watches Kate Grant’s journey to becoming a model
True North: Role Model BBC 1, 11 June 2018
True North on BBC1 is a series of documentaries looking at life in Northern Ireland.
Each programme takes a 30-minute look at individuals or groups whose lives reflect the country’s diversity. Programmes have covered topics such as farming, tattooing after cancer surgery and a music festival.
This episode was dedicated to Kate Grant, a 19-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome, who wanted to be a model. It followed her attending a workshop for aspiring models, showing her on the catwalk of Belfast Fashion Week and modelling at a wedding fair (below and right).
Kate’s devoted family encouraged and supported her, and teachers at her school helped her transition into a college for people with learning disabilities.
In these respects, Kate was little different from others her age. However, the world of fashion and beauty can be impenetrable to anyone but particularly so for those with learning disabilities.
Kate trailblazing the way for other people with Down’s syndrome made her and her family incredibly proud. As her sister said: ‘Kate uses her disability as a voice to speak for those who can’t.’
The documentary portrayed Kate as an intelligent, determined young person who genuinely saw no barrier to achieving her dreams. It highlighted that there were no difficulties in employing a model with learning disabilities if the opportunities are available in the first place.
Kate really did look amazingly beautiful and confident on the catwalk, and the documentary was wonderfully inspiring to anyone of any ability thinking of taking the plunge into the modelling world.
As Kate’s father said: ‘If every parent and every family can develop each child to their full potential, how much more enriched our society could be.’
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