Blog #219~The Faces of Down Syndrome
The faces of Down syndrome are more prominent in 2018, than they were 24 years ago when my son, Nick was born. Acceptance and inclusion are two things we advocate everyday, and especially in the month of October, which is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
This week I want to highlight some of the faces of individuals with Down syndrome who are making a difference, by advocating acceptance and inclusion. There are more models with Down syndrome in the media, thanks to companies like Target and all the way up to New York fashion week. In addition, television shows are featuring actors with Down syndrome. Trailblazers are advocating for job opportunities and making a difference. Here are some of the faces of individuals who have Down syndrome, and advocates who are paving the way.
*A&E’s Emmy winning series Born this Way 🙂
“Winner of the 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, Born This Way follows a group of seven young adults born with Down syndrome as they pursue their passions and lifelong dreams, explore friendships, romantic relationships and work, all while defying society’s expectations. In their willingness and courage to openly share their lives, through a lens that is not often shown on television, we learn they have high hopes just like anyone else. The series also gives voice to the parents, allowing them to talk about the joy their son or daughter brings to their family, and the challenges they face in helping them live as independently as possible”.
Read my exclusive interview with Sandra Assismotos McElwee (author of Who’s the Slow Learner? A Chronicle of Inclusion & Exclusion) and mother of cast mate Sean McElwee here: https://nickspecialneeds.com/?s=born+this+way
*CNN’s Hero of the Year Amy Wright of Bitty and Beau’s Coffee 🙂
CNN Heroes is a television special created by CNN to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to humanitarian aid and make a difference in their communities. Amy Wright started a grass-roots movement, opening up Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, which is located in Wilmington, NC. National statistics have shown that 70% of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are unemployed. Her mission is to provide purposeful jobs that bring the community together, and helps people with and without disabilities to spend time together.
Read my blog about Bitty and Beau’s Coffee: https://nickspecialneeds.com/?s=bitty+and+bo
*Firestarter Advocating for Inclusion on Capitol Hill David Egan 🙂
One of the featured individuals in the book Firestarters is David Egan. David is the first person with an intellectual disability to be awarded a Joseph P. Kennedy JR. Public Policy Fellowship, he made history by working on Capitol Hill with the Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee. David Egan, born with Down syndrome, is a trailblazer for others who have intellectual disabilities.
Read more about this Firestarter David Egan and co-author Paul Eder in my exclusive interview at this link: https://nickspecialneeds.com/?s=firestarter
*We are seeing more actors and models with Down syndrome in prominent roles! 🙂
Chris Burke was a trailblazer starring in the TV series, Life Goes On:
Lauren Potter star of Fox’s hit show Glee:
Jamie Brewer stars in American Horror Story:
Madeline Stuart and Maria Avila are changing the face of beauty and diversity in the world of fashion, both have walked at NY Fashion Week!
*2018 Gerber Spokes Baby Lucas Warren 🙂
Read more about 2018 Gerber Baby, Lucas in my blog: https://nickspecialneeds.com/?s=gerber+baby
It’s wonderful to see more of these beautiful faces in the media. How amazing to read about advocates who are opening up doors for employment and being applauded for their efforts! Individuals with Down syndrome have goals and dreams, and want the same things as everyone else. They need opportunities and to be included without barriers. Let’s move beyond awareness about Down syndrome, towards acceptance and inclusion!
That’s what is in my noggin this week.
Follow my son, Nick where you will find more stories and faces of DS:
Facebook and Pinterest @Down Syndrome With A Slice Of Autism