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One year ago, Medford’s AnnaRose Rubright was a college student going to class, working part-time and simply enjoying her life. Now, she is recognized by people across the country as the face of the “How Do You See Me?” campaign.

The video campaign, featuring actress Olivia Wilde, was created to show the world that individuals with Down syndrome are as capable as those without. As Wilde is seen performing everyday activities like dancing, running and going to the beach, Rubright narrates the video, explaining that this is how she sees herself. At the end of the video, she is revealed on camera and asks, “How do you see me?”

annarose-td-video-pic“I was proud of the hard work I had put into it and the impact it had,” she says. “I wanted to show people that I could do all the things in the video, and that I was proud of being myself.”

Rubright’s sister, Natasha, says many viewers told her the video brought tears to their eyes, and Rubright says her teachers told her they were proud. The new video star says she hoped the short video would show people who she really is, which she believes it did. Now, the video is starting a conversation about people with disabilities, specifically those with Down syndrome.

Rubright was selected for the video after PALS, a summer camp she has attended for years, was approached by the campaign team looking for a 20-year-old woman with Down syndrome. After sending in a casting video and auditioning in New York City, Rubright was chosen to star in the video. And no matter what pressure came with the job, she says it didn’t phase her.

“I was not nervous,” she says. “I was confident.”

Rubright’s fight for the inclusion of people with disabilities began in second grade, when she and her parents created the Anna Foundation for Inclusive Education. The organization provides educational assistance for students with annarose-votinglearning disabilities who go to school in an inclusive setting. One service the organization provides is peer tutoring, which Rubright now uses as she prepares for her driving test.

She’s studying entertainment technology and video and digital media production at Rowan College at Burlington County while also working part-time as a physical therapy assistant.

Rubright has also become heavily involved in the Special Olympics of New Jersey, but not just as an athlete. In addition to competing as a swimmer in this year’s summer games, Rubright is participating in a campaign with TD Bank – an event sponsor – to show the world what a Special Olympics athlete is like. She has spoken at TD Bank University and the 2016 Summer Games Torch Run, and is now working on a video that shows a day in her life.

The inspirational activist says she is motivated to do all this work because she wants the voices of people with disabilities to be heard, and she wants people to see who she really is.

“I want to be seen for who I am,” she says, “which is someone who loves to be herself and help others.”

 

 

October 07, 2016
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