“The first people on the list of endangered species”. In Canada, during Down Syndrome week, from 1 to 7 November, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) launched a media campaign to drive Down syndrome to the top of the endangered species list, like bears for instance, and to request the same funding, protection, government intervention and awareness as allocated for this animal species.
Actor Dylan Harman who has Down Syndrome believes that this campaign focuses on his very existence. For him, “everyone has a purpose”.
Laura LaChance, Chair of the Board for the CDSS, believes that people with Down syndrome face unique challenges and need more support than they’ve been given so far. Especially since for 30% of people born with Down syndrome—less than anticipated in some countries like the US and approaching zero in other countries that practice genetic screening—services such as education, financing and housing support leave much to be desired. As the population shrinks, assistance which is already difficult to obtain is becoming increasingly scarce.
Huffington Post, Nathalie Stechyson (06/11/2011)