Advocates for people with Down syndrome point to various factors, such as additional educational support and parental support groups to improve parenting knowledge and skills.
There are also strides being made in education, housing, and social settings to create environments which are accessible and supportive to people with Down syndrome.
In most developed countries, since the early twentieth century many people with Down syndrome were housed in institutions or colonies and excluded from society.
However, since the early 1960s parents and their organizations, educators and other professionals have generally advocated a policy of inclusion, bringing people with any form of mental or physical disability into general society as much as possible.
Such organizations included the National Association for Down Syndrome, the first known organization advocating for Down Syndrome individuals in the United States founded by Kathryn McGee in 1960; MENCAP advocating for all with mental disabilities, which was founded in the U.K. in 1946 by Judy Fryd; and the National Down Syndrome Congress, the first truly national organization in the U.S. advocating for Down Syndrome families, founded in 1973 by Kathryn McGee and others Kathryn McGee.
In many countries, people with Down syndrome are educated in the normal school system; there are increasingly higher-quality opportunities to move from special (segregated) education to regular education settings.
Despite these changes, the additional support needs of people with Down syndrome can still pose a challenge to parents and families. Although living with family is preferable to institutionalization, people with Down syndrome often encounter patronizing attitudes and discrimination in the wider community.
The first World Down Syndrome Day was held on 21 March 2006. The day and month were chosen to correspond with 21 and trisomy respectively. It was proclaimed by European Down Syndrome Association during their European congress in Palma de Mallorca (feb. 2005).
In the United States, the National Down Syndrome Society observes Down Syndrome Month every October as "a forum for dispelling stereotypes, providing accurate information, and raising awareness of the potential of individuals with Down syndrome."
In South Africa, Down Syndrome Awareness Day is held every October 20.
Organizations such as Special Olympics Hawaii provide year-round sports training for individuals with intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome.
- Danny Alsabbagh, Australian actor who played Toby in the Australian mockumentary series Summer Heights High
- Chris Burke, American actor who portrayed "Corky Thatcher" on the television series ''Life Goes On'' and "Taylor" on ''Touched By An Angel.''
- Edward Barbanell, played Billy in 2005's ''The Ringer''.
- Pascal Duquenne, Belgian film actor, co-starred with Daniel Auteuil in the 1996 film ''Le Huitième Jour'' (The Eighth Day), both actors won the joint award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival.
- Andrea Friedman: actress who portrayed Corky's girlfriend Amanda in ''Life Goes On'' and Ellen in the ''Family Guy'' episode "Extra Large Medium".
- Stephane Ginnsz, actor (''Duo'')—In 1996 was first actor with Down syndrome in the lead part of a motion picture.
- Nigel Hunt, British author (The World Of Nigel Hunt; The Diary Of A Mongoloid Youth—this book was published in 1967, when "mongoloid" was still quite commonly used to refer to people with Down's Syndrome).
- Tommy Jessop, British actor who played Ben in ''Coming Down the Mountain'', opposite Nicholas Hoult
- Rene Moreno, subject of "Up Syndrome" - a documentary film about life with Down syndrome.
- Joey Moss, Edmonton Oilers locker room attendant.
- Trig Palin, son of Sarah Palin and her husband Todd.
- Pablo Pineda, Spanish actor who starred in the semi-autobiographical film ''Yo También''.
- Isabella Pujols, adopted daughter of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and inspiration for the Pujols Family Foundation.
- Paula Sage, Scottish film actress and Special Olympics netball athlete. Her role in the 2003 film ''AfterLife'' brought her a BAFTA Scotland award for best first time performance and Best Actress in the Bratislava International Film Festival, 2004.
- Hilly, Sam, Lucy and Megan, 4 friends with Down's Syndrome who share a house in Brighton with their friend Lewis who has Williams Syndrome. Their lives are followed in the internet documentary series "The Specials".
Portrayal in fiction
- Bret Lott: ''Jewel''
- Bernice Rubens: ''A Solitary Grief''
- Paul M Belous & Robert Wolterstorff: ''Quantum Leap: Jimmy''
- Emily Perl Kingsley: ''Welcome to Holland''
- The Kingdom and its American counterpart, ''Kingdom Hospital''
- Stephen King: ''Dreamcatcher''
- Dean Koontz: ''The Bad Place''
- Jeffrey Eugenides: ''The Virgin Suicides''
- Theodore Sturgeon: ''More Than Human''
- Janet Mitchell, character in ''EastEnders''
- Kim Edwards: ''The Memory Keeper's Daughter''
- June Rae Wood: ''The Man Who Loved Clowns''
- Jaco van Dormael: ''Le huitième jour''
- Mark Haddon: ''Coming Down the Mountain (BBC Radio play and BBC TV Drama)''
- Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell's mother: ''Prison Break''
- Chris Burke as Charles "Corky" Thatcher in ''Life Goes On''
- "Toby": ''Summer Heights High''
- Emily Perl Kingsley: ''Kids Like These (TV Movie)''
- Lauren Potter as Becky Jackson in ''Glee''
- Richard Alcorn: ''Deadline'' characters in book
This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article on
All material adapted used from Wikipedia is available under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Wikipedia® itself is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.