Do only people with “cute” disabilities matter?

by David M. Perry – Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan declared October Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Ever since, too many efforts at awareness have relied on pictures of people with Down syndrome being cute, accompanied by constant, upbeat assertions that they and their families are all very happy. Throughout October, adorable photos of people with Down syndrome and […]

Leading an independent life with Down syndrome

by Dan.D’Addona – It happened months ago, but there is still a sparkle in his eye when he talks about it. Zach Aalderink is still excited about shooting a hole-in-one on the golf course. “I started looking for my ball and it was in the hole,” Aalderink said as he raised his arms just like […]

Designer with Down syndrome launches clothing line

Clothing Designer, Ashley DeRamus

by Margot Peppers – A mother-daughter team have founded one of two new fashion lines designed specifically for people with Down syndrome. Due to her genetic disorder, Ashley DeRamus, 32, from Hoover, Alabama, is a petite 5ft tall, has shorter arms, a wider build, a short torso and high knees – characteristics that are typical […]

Ballet gives children with Down syndrome another way to express themselves

by Gillian Mohney – About 30 students get ready for dance class every Sunday at the Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica, California. But, technically, the studio isn’t open for its usual classes. Instead the doors are open for the students of the Free 2 Be Me dance troupe. Started by Colleen Perry, the […]

Greeting card business is path to independence for young woman with Down Syndrome

by Jonathan Choe – A local entrepreneur is showcasing her craft online and donating a portion of the proceeds to a great cause that is closed to her heart as part of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Anna Rudick doesn’t have a college degree. She can’t read, and her resume is pretty bare — but some […]

From a job, to independent living and marriage

by Dan Barry – A Sunday wedding that was months away, then weeks away, then days away, is now hours away, and there is so much still to do. The bride is panicking, and the groom is trying to calm her between anxious puffs of his cigarette. Peter and Lori are on their own. With […]

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month

By Meriah Nichols – October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month here in the United States. I’m personally not out to promote awareness anymore, because we are there already. We are aware. We are aware that people with Down syndrome are the same as people without: deserving of equal rights, opportunities and privileges. We are aware […]

Securing friendships for my child with Down syndrome

by Amy Julia Becker – Nearly nine years ago, I lay in a hospital bed with a sleeping baby in my arms, engulfed by fear. Mine wasn’t the typical anxiety of new mothers. We had just received a diagnosis of Down syndrome for our daughter Penny, and for a while I felt as though I had been […]

Segregating people with Down syndrome is not the way to keep them safe

by Mardra Sikora – Last year in January a man who looked a little like my son died at the hands of three police officers moonlighting as security guards. Those of us in the community, people who love someone with similar features, rose and reacted. Some raged. Some looked for comfort. Some demanded recourse. We all wept. […]

Clothing designer works to improve lives of people with Down syndrome

by Jennifer Bowen – For Karen Bowersox, a well-fitting pair of jeans isn’t just a fashion statement, it is the reason she gets up in the morning. In 2009, Bowersox founded Downs Designs after noticing clothes worn by her granddaughter, Maggie, who has Down syndrome, didn’t fit her frame. The company produces jeans, capris and […]