October 3, 2017

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome, will bring community leaders, self-advocates, parents and employers to the nation’s capitol to launch its latest campaign – “Law Syndrome.”

“Law Syndrome” addresses the challenges people with Down syndrome confront when they want to follow their career dreams, get married and live independent, productive lives, yet face jeopardizing the critical government supports they rely on heavily, such as health care. Outdated laws discourage all people with Down syndrome from fulfilling their potential.

The campaign, created in partnership with creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York, will help mark October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“NDSS is leading this historic national effort by showcasing to the world that Down syndrome doesn’t stop people with Down syndrome — it’s ‘Law Syndrome’ that holds them back,” said NDSS President and CEO Sara Hart Weir. “By launching this campaign, we are calling on our leaders in Congress to join our efforts to reform these complex but misguided laws — and to help us change #LawSyndrome.”

The poverty rate for working-age people with disabilities is 22.3 percent higher than those without disabilities. Despite the efforts of key civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, individuals with Down syndrome still face barriers to living as full members of their communities.

The new campaign aims to shed light on misconceptions that current federal public policy does not address. These laws affect individuals with Down syndrome as well as their families. NDSS’ “Law Syndrome” campaign will give all individuals with Down syndrome, their families, the larger disability community and the general public a voice in confronting these dated beliefs and further provide a platform to encourage congressional leaders to act.

NDSS has produced a multifaceted public service announcement complete with a videocreative pieces and a website.

People with Down syndrome are living longer, healthier and more productive lives; attending post-secondary education programs; getting married; are obtaining gainful employment; and are also more integrated into the fabric of society than ever before. NDSS’ “Law Syndrome campaign” will break down barriers that unjustly prevent people with Down syndrome from living their American dream.