An ad that shows people with disabilities playing instruments, driving stunt cars, and performing in the Paralympics has received criticism, but one of its stars is speaking out.
Calgarian and motivational speaker Alvin Law is depicted in the ad for the Paralympic Games playing drums with his feet, as he was born without arms.
“I started playing music when I was a young person growing up in Yorkton, Saskatchewan,” Law tells Daily Hive. “If you got into band, that was a good thing – I wasn’t into sports, obviously.”
In the video by the UK’s Paralympic broadcaster Channel 4, Alvin and other people with disabilities are seen performing extraordinary tasks, something Celeste Orr, a PhD candidate from the University of Ottawa, calls “inspiration porn.”
Law, however, has a different take on it.
“I’m totally accepting of the criticism. That’s just the story of my life – I haven’t always been liked,” he says. “I do put a very hyper positive spin on my life, and that’s not a marketing scheme, it’s exactly what I believe changed my life.”
He believes it’s “easy to be negative,” and that his critics are people who are “stereotypes of unhappy human beings.”
“They haven’t adjusted to their lives, they’ve struggled with their existence – I don’t mean to be judgemental at all,” he says, adding that “when you take a positive approach to a negative subject, you can flip it upside down.”
In the end, Law says he just wants to put more positive energy out into the world, and he says he has his parents to thank for that.
“My parents were just astounding. They not only made me believe that I could, they were these amazing human beings.”