The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) condemns the recent comments made by televangelist Pat Robertson and his assessment of people with Down syndrome.
Words like mongoloid are outdated and are very insulting to people with Down syndrome and their families. Derogatory words like this have no place in today’s vocabulary and we would like to urge Robertson and his co-host Terry Meeuwsen to learn correct language when talking about people with Down syndrome and utilize our NDSS preferred language guide.
As we know, people with Down syndrome are living fulfilling lives and are making great strides in their communities. When comments like this are made it, unfortunately, casts an unfair light on people with Down syndrome and the public perception is negatively impacted. Furthermore, we would like for Mr. Robertson and Mrs. Meeuwsen to learn more about people with Down syndrome and the lives they are living. Their assumption that people with Down syndrome are not living lives on par with their counterparts who do not have Down syndrome or other intellectual or developmental disabilities is unfounded and ignorant.
We ask Mr. Robertson to rethink his position on people with Down syndrome and would encourage a dialogue between NDSS, the largest nonprofit in the United States advocating for people with Down syndrome and their families, and Mr. Robertson as we further demonstrate how people with Down syndrome are making positive strides around the world, in this country, and in their local communities.
For more information on NDSS and Down syndrome, please visit us at www.ndss.org.