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There are 74 million drivers in Brazil. But just two with Down syndrome. Aiming to raise that number, car rental giant Localiza launched a campaign dubbed Autoescola Xtraordinária. The initiative will pay for 30 people with Down syndrome to take driving lessons and get their licenses, affording them the freedom and autonomy that millions of drivers take for granted.
While Brazilian law doesn't prohibit individuals with intellectual disabilities from obtaining a driver's license, societal prejudices can get in the way, and many people may have wrongly assumed driving just wasn't an option for them. Localiza, South America's leading rental company and one of the largest worldwide, partnered with advocates at Instituto Mano Down to develop Autoescola Xtraordinária. The program is open to anyone with an intellectual disability who is 18 years or older, literate and 'dreams of driving.'
By recognizing the potential of people with intellectual disabilities to become competent drivers, Localiza is addressing a societal gap. The brand's initiative reinforces the importance of independence and mobility for all, embodying the brand's philosophy that the world moves forward when everyone can advance.
Inclusion in driving does more than foster individual independence — it symbolizes a commitment to making society more diverse, equitable and accessible. And consumers increasingly expect that level of commitment. As the 2023 Instagram Trend Report points out: "Disability advocacy is a leading issue for Gen Z. Three out of four Gen Z social media users want to follow an influencer who has a disability. Expect more members of the next gen to engage with creators who advocate for those with intellectual or physical disabilities."
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