London, United Kingdom – Down Syndrome International (DSi), an international disabled people’s organisation, has teamed up with creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors and global digital modelling agency The Diigitals to create the world’s first virtual influencer with Down syndrome named Kami.
Kami, which is short for Kamilah, will be active on her Instagram account to give people a peek into her daily life, her likes, her quirks, her friends, and her interests. In addition, she will exist to shine the spotlight on people with Down syndrome while fulfilling a bigger and more powerful mission to make the digital world more inclusive with #TheKamiPledge.
The three organisations involved saw an opportunity to revolutionise the digital space by creating the world’s first virtual influencer with Down syndrome.
“By intentionally giving Down syndrome to someone who is universally known as ‘perfect’ in the social sphere, Kami will be a powerful representation that Down syndrome is not a flaw, or a mistake, and that she does not need ‘fixing’,” DSi said in a press statement.
For Kami to be a truly authentic representation of real women with Down syndrome, a panel of over 100 young women volunteers with Down syndrome across the DSi global network were consulted to collaborate on her creation as a virtual model – acting as the faces, physiques, gestures, voices, and personalities that Kami will embody.
Rachel Kennedy and Firrdaus Yusoff, creatives at Forsman & Bodenfors Singapore, said, “In a world filled with pixel perfect virtual models, creating Kami is a way to completely reframe Down syndrome in the online space. We want to make it impossible to ignore Kami and everything she stands for. As we get to know her, Kami’s true potential will depend on how the world embraces her in her virtual form.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Boys, executive director at DSi, commented, “We have always been acutely aware that the digital space has had little or no place for people with Down syndrome. Creating Kami as a welcoming and relatable representation in the digital space for young women with Down syndrome is an incredible milestone for DSi. We have high hopes for Kami and the transformation she can bring to digital diversity.”