March 21 will see the 11th celebration of "World Down Syndrome Day," and as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the disorder, actress and humanitarian Olivia Wilde collaborated with Director Reed Morano on a short Public Service Announcement titled "How Do You See Me?"
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) March 15, 2016
The video, which runs for one minute and 42 seconds, was released on March 14. First, Wilde is shown facing a mirror, then shows her engaged in common activities like camping, jogging, dancing and singing, while a narrator talks about how she perceives herself.
The voice belongs to 19-year-old AnnaRose Rubright, who describes how she sees herself as an ordinary person experiencing life, spending time with her family and friends, laughing and crying, struggling to achieve her dreams just like anyone else.
"I see myself following my dreams, even if they are impossible - especially because they're impossible," she says.
The line itself is heartbreaking, but true for many people who are not given better opportunities. Also, to discover at the end of the video that the person speaking has Down Syndrome creates more impact because there are opportunities not open to them mainly due to their disorder. What makes it more heartbreaking is to realize that the impossibility of their dreams is rooted in other people's perception of the condition.
"How Do You See Me?" is not only the title of the video, but the big challenge for everyone who regards people with Down Syndrome as less able. AnnaRose said it herself - she is just an ordinary person experiencing life like everyone else, but with the added challenge of the way people see her as different from how she perceives herself.
"Let's change the way we look at people with Down syndrome," CoorDown, the Italian organization responsible for the ad, challenges.
Watch it in full below.