Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Today is World Down's Syndrome Day

Who knew that World Down's Syndrome Day could leave me feeling so torn?

On the one hand, I totally recognize the need for a day to raise awareness around Down's Syndrome. People make a lot of assumptions about individuals with Down's Syndrome and their characteristics, what' they're capable of learning, what sort of contribution they'll be able to make to society...heck, we're still battling parts of the medical community on whether babies with Down's Syndrome are "worthy" of life.

And I do realize that I've been using International Developmental Disabilities Month as an awareness tool, as many people have. I don't think that I believed that there's anything inherently wrong with awareness "days", "weeks", and "months".

Until this morning, when I intended to write a much shorter blog about this, and I wrote this: "Check out the website to see if any events are happening in your area. If there aren't any events in your area, perhaps you have an idea of your own of how you could celebrate? Or of how you could move us closer to being a society that recognizes the potential and achievements of all people with disabilities, everyday? Just a thought."

Celebrating World Down's Syndrome Day Every Day

I don't mean that people without disabilities go around with a huge pat  on the back everyday for the people in the lives with disabilities. I just mean that if somone with Down's Syndrome impresses you with what they do, you don't have to wait until World Down's Syndrome Day to tell them, or to tell someone else. If you're curious about what Down's Syndrome is and how it affects someone in your life, you don't have to wait until a World Down's Syndrome Day event to get some information about it.

We should find out about the people around us and let them know what impresses us about them throughout the year (whether they have disabilities or not). It makes people feel good...and that makes us feel good...doesn't it?

All that being said, it *is* World Down's Syndrome Day. Visit the website and see if there's anything happening in your area.

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