[UPDATE] World Down Syndrome Day

By: Dontaye Carter; AG Communications Office Email
By: Dontaye Carter; AG Communications Office Email

[UPDATE] 3-22 12:16pm --

Ann Scott, the First Lady of Florida, makes a statement.

Dear Down Syndrome Association of Tallahassee:

Thank you for the opportunity to join your members in recognizing March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day. It is a great pleasure for me to observe this special day, along with individuals and families in our capital city, around the state of Florida, and across the country.

Every year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. All who participate in World Down Syndrome Day should be commended for helping to raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our communities. Our combined efforts will help ensure that people with Down syndrome enjoy the quality of life they deserve.

First Lady of New Jersey Mary Pat Christie and other first spouses around the country are joining together to spread awareness about the recent advances being made to empower individuals with
Down syndrome. Today, I’m proud to work with them to recognize our citizens with Down syndrome in Florida and inspire their loved ones in their continued efforts to advance cognitive research.

Please know how much I appreciate participating in this global initiative that raises awareness and advocates for the rights, inclusion, and well being of people with Down syndrome. I wish you all the best today and every day.


Ann Scott
First Lady of Florida


"They need love and hugs and hands on experience just like every other kid does."

Polly Chase and Erin Gaskins are mothers of two beautiful girls, 3-year-old Emily and 6-month old Eslea.

They're active and energetic just like most children their ages but they're also two out of more than 400,000 people nationwide with down syndrome.

And it's something they're mothers say doesn't make them different.

"When we're around people that do not have a lot of information about down syndrome I show them this is Eslea she has down syndrome. Look she can hold a bottle and is only five moths old," said Gaskin.

World Down Syndrome Day was established in 2006 to help spread awareness about the disorder.

Researchers say one out of every 800 babies born in the U.S. has Down Syndrome and the group here says their message is simple: they just want residents with the disorder to know they're not alone.

"This group will be just a group for everybody to come together, share information, share things that are happening with their children," said Brian Gay. "Any piece of information to help someone is a valuable piece of information".

Something these families hope they can share by educating residents in the community about the disorder.


Attorney General Bondi and Florida Cabinet Recognize March 21 as “World Down Syndrome Day”

Tallahassee, FL - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Florida
Cabinet recognized March 21 as "World Down Syndrome Day.” The Florida
Cabinet approved the resolution sponsored by Attorney General Bondi.

“I am truly grateful to sponsor this resolution recognizing the importance
of educating people about Down syndrome,” said Attorney General Bondi. “It
is critical that the public understands that people who have Down syndrome
are vital to our society. With increased early intervention and equal
opportunities, we can ensure that even more people with Down syndrome can
meet and surpass their goals. I have personal experience in that my
6-year-old niece, Emma, has Down syndrome and is God’s greatest gift to our

Down syndrome affects persons regardless of race, religion, socio-economic
status or geography. One in every 733 children is born with Down syndrome,
representing approximately 5,600 births per year and approximately 400,000
individuals in the United States. Recent research has shown that early
intervention, education, inclusion in the community, and social support
improve an individual’s likelihood of living an independent, productive and
satisfying life.

A copy of the resolution can be found here:

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Susan Location: Valdosta on Mar 23, 2011 at 04:43 AM
    Thank you for this story. Awareness is a powerful tool to help people overcome their misconceptions related to DS and other developmental disabilities.
  • by Summer Location: Thomasville on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your coverage of Down Syndrome awareness day. Please consider increasing coverage about Downs Syndrome and other developmental disabilities because awareness needs to be raised about these incredible people.
  • by Christy Location: Valdosta on Mar 22, 2011 at 02:44 PM
    What a nice change of pace from most local news stories! More coverage of groups like this and their activities would be a welcome thing.
  • by Becca on Mar 22, 2011 at 02:12 PM
    Great story! The more we can raise awareness about people with Down syndrome, the better and more productive the lives of our children can be. Thank you for this.
  • by Mickey Location: Valdosta on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM
    Thank you for the coverage on Down Syndrome awareness. I would love to see more stories on the awareness of people with special needs.
  • by Tanya Location: Valdosta on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:38 AM
    Great story! Please do more stories on Down Syndrome so that the people in our area are more educated about the disorder.
  • by Lea Location: Valdosta on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:07 AM
    Love the story! Please do more stories on special needs issues. It is such an under represented topic in our area. It's great that you have advocates that you can work with directly for updated information.
  • by Sarah on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:13 PM
    This is really bad write up. Is there not a video to go with it? I grew up with an individual with Down Syndrome and I know that they can be very intelligent. They have desires and dreams just like everyone else. They are capable of many things and deserve to be respresented accuratly.
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