For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Cevallos
National Down Syndrome Society
Join NDSS this October to Celebrate National
Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Down Syndrome Awareness Month is marked by national programs to promote awareness for the abilities and achievements of those with Down syndrome.
New York, NY – October 1, 2011. This October, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) invites the country to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in recognition of the many achievements and abilities of people with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before. The life expectancy of individuals with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today. Children with Down syndrome are often fully included in social and educational settings and increasingly go on to graduate high school and attend postsecondary education programs. While placement in the workforce remains a struggle, the situation has improved and adults with Down syndrome have attained a variety of positions, bringing enthusiasm, reliability and dedication to their jobs.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition; one in every 691 babies in the United States born with Down syndrome. Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. People with Down syndrome attend school, work and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
“My brother David, who has Down syndrome, and I are so excited to be walking in this year's Buddy Walk in New York City,” said Pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce, “Along with thousands of others, we hope to raise awareness about Down syndrome and support this important campaign to create a brighter future for all families and individuals whose lives are touched by this condition."
Since October of 1981, the Down syndrome community has been celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This year marks the return of fantastic national programming to promote awareness for the achievements and abilities of people with Down syndrome.
The National Buddy Walk® Program has been running annually since 1995, kicking off in September and lasting through November, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The goals of the program are to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to positively influence local and national policy and practice. The Buddy Walk is a heart-warming, one-mile walk, in which anyone can participate without special training. Last year alone, Buddy Walk events raised more than $11 million to benefit national education and advocacy initiatives, as well as local programs and services. All funds raised through the National Buddy Walk Program support both local and national programs.
The National Down Syndrome Society is a nonprofit organization representing the more than 400,000 Americans with Down syndrome. The mission of NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming community. NDSS has over 350 affiliates nationwide.
To learn more about NDSS, visit www.ndss.org.