Australian Open champ stunned by powerful image
Australian Open champion Dylan Alcott has praised American shopping chain Target for an advertising campaign which features a child in a wheelchair.
Demi Garza-Pena, mother of a young boy in a wheelchair, shared a powerful image to Facebook last week, which quickly went viral, gaining over 26,000 shares.
In the photo, her son - named Oliver - is staring up at an advertisement featuring another child around his age, also with a disability.
"Today Oliver stopped me dead in his tracks and turned back around to see this picture that he spotted! He just stared at it in awe!" Garza-Pena posted.
"He recognised another boy like him, smiling and laughing on a display at Target.
"Oliver sees kids every day, but he never gets to see kids like him. This was amazing!
"There is a lot of focus on representing diversity, but representing people with disabilities is just as important!"
Just weeks after donating $40,000 to disabled Australian affected by the bushfire crisis, 29-year-old Alcott shared the beautiful image to his Instagram on Thursday, where he has over 128,000 followers.
"Love this! 'You cannot be what you cannot see' … Our society is def moving in the right direction," he captioned the post.
Born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord, Alcott has lived in a wheelchair all his life, but this didn't stop the Victorian from becoming one of Australia's most celebrated athletes.
Alcott has won ten Grand Slam quad singles titles, including six consecutive wins at the Australian Open. He was recognised as Australian Paralympian of the Year in 2016, and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Don Award.
Alcott has also been a leading voice in eradicating ableism, regularly speaking about the benefits of inclusivity. He has worked in radio and television, winning the 2019 Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent.