Changing the face of disability with @emilyjprior_

Emily Prior is a 13-year old model, actor and disability activist with Cerebral Palsy.

After failing to see disability being represented in Film, Media and Advertising, Emily decided to forge her own path as a model, filmmaker and actor and “accidentally” become a Disability Activist along the way. She is not only challenging industries to include disability, but is making it happen herself by writing her own short films and starring in them. Her message is always the same. 'It's important to represent people with a disability in TV, Film and Advertising because "it's who we are”'.

What is your main goal behind being a model/actor and activist for positive change?
My main goal is the representation and inclusion of disability. I didn’t see myself being represented and I felt like I didn’t belong, so I knew I had to
change that so that no other young person felt the same way. I also wanted to change the way people think about disability. I don’t want people to feel sorry
for me or think that my disability is a tragedy because it isn’t.

What are you most proud of to date?
I am really proud of the work I did with Target. I was the first disabled model to feature on the cover. So that was really exciting to be a part of that history.
I also was the first model with a disability to walk the runway at Perth Fashion Festival, which was so much fun, I loved it. Obviously starring the in the lead role of Stella in Rocky and Me on ABCMe is my proudest moment. I loved seeing Stella on screen. I loved having the opportunity to be Stella and to share her story. Being the Junior Ambassador for Disability Sports Australia and Modibodi is also something I am really proud of.

What do you hope to achieve in the next 2-3 years?
I would love to see a series of Rocky & Me. I think seeing a lead character with a disability on Television and in Films is so important. Hopefully I can do some more films, maybe some TV. I would love to see more disabled characters on TV too. I have to fit school in obviously and I would love to continue with my Ambassador work.

Which of the many roles you have do you enjoy most and why?
I really love being a mentor and role model. Just as I have an incredible mentor in my friend Robyn, I love being a mentor for younger children who also have a disability.

Who inspires you?
I am so lucky to be surrounded by many strong and positive role models (both male and female) who I look up to. I have met some incredible disabled activists, disabled people and people who have helped me on my journey. I am so lucky to
call them my friends. They all inspire me for different reasons.

What piece of advice would you give to other children who are keen to follow their passion and make positive change?
I think my advice is to follow your passion and believe in yourself. Use your voice. It doesn’t matter if it is the only voice, or a little voice, the more you speak, the more people will listen.

We have a few quick fire questions we'd love for you to answer for us...
Of course, we have to know - what's your favourite Little Lunch Box Co design?
My faves include some older designs - The Flamingo & the Glitter. From the new designs I like the Llama and the Magical Unicorns. We have a few Little Lunch Box Co designs in our lunch box drawer to choose from!!
What's your fave bento box filler?
My favourite filler is Tacos. I can assemble the Taco myself from each bento compartment. I also love the Bento Two for having dip and veggies. I use the Bento Cups for my dip.
Top must-have for school?
A great attitude!
Favourite after school hobby?
I love swimming in our pool, hanging out with friends, making my own films or art and craft.

If you could give our readers one message, what would it be?

If it doesn't happen straight away, don't give up, keep trying, find your way and believe in yourself.

Catch more of Emily on Instagram at @emilyjprior_.

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