Models of Diversity & Global Disability Inclusion Introduce Ryan Starkey & Leslie Irby Winners of a USA Disabled Model Competition

Jul 23, 2015, 07:14 ET from Global Disability Inclusion

SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In February, Models of Diversity & Global Disability Inclusion launched a model competition to find two new faces of fashion and beauty -- who just happen to have a disability. The competition ran from February to June 1st and hundreds of aspiring models from the U.S. entered the competition held on Facebook and Twitter.

Models with disabilities have been making a splash over the past two years and companies are beginning to realize the power of utilizing models from all diversity groups. Earlier this year models with disabilities walked in both New York and Milan Fashion weeks, several were affiliated with Models of Diversity and Global Disability Inclusion. 

"The inclusion of models with disabilities in mainstream fashion and beauty is continuing to set a new standard. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and abilities," said Angel Sinclair, CEO of Models of Diversity.

The judges of the competition chose one male winner, Ryan Starkey of Fort Smith, Arkansas who said, "I feel privileged to be part of an organization championing people with disabilities. Together we will change the perception of beauty and ability in the worlds of fashion, beauty, entertainment and beyond."

The female winner, Leslie Irby of Atlanta, GA  is also the 2014 winner of Ms. Wheel Chair Georgia. Leslie is pleased to continue her work to create greater inclusion of people with disabilities. "This is such an amazing opportunity for members of the disabled community to gain more inclusion in the fashion world as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ADA! I am extremely excited to be apart of this!" said Leslie.

Both winners will receive a 6-month contract with Models of Diversity USA and have won prizes including cash, beauty products, clothing, an IceMule Cooler, and more.

"Our work with Models of Diversity elevates people with disabilities showing the world people with disabilities are strong, confident, and capable and beautiful. More importantly companies are  recognizing people with disabilities have a purchasing power of $225B and that is not a group to ignore," said, Meg O'Connell, Managing Partner at Global Disability Inclusion. "So, who is ready to hire one of these models for their next ad campaign?" O'Connell asked in closing.

For more information on models with disabilities, or to book one of these models contact:
Meg O'Connell, at

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SOURCE Global Disability Inclusion