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Down Syndrome Society to Host Annual Buddy Walk

on October 25, 2019 12:22 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Do you know someone who has Down syndrome? If so, you are part of a semi-elite group of people. According to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, just 38 percent of Americans know someone who has Down syndrome.

According to a press release from the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society, that is rapidly changing. You are more likely than ever to run into a person who has Down syndrome. The population of people with Down syndrome in the U.S. is expected to increase steadily over the next 20 years due to improved medical care, which has resulted in more live births and longer lives for people who have Down syndrome.

Simultaneously, society’s expectations for people who have Down syndrome have changed dramatically. In the United States, people who have Down syndrome are now guaranteed by law, access to a free public education. Many go to school, work, get married and live independently, accomplishments that were all but unheard of a few decades ago.

“My daughter isn’t just allowed to go to school,” said Heather House, executive director of the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society and mother to a 6-year-old with Down syndrome. “Fern is expected to work hard and learn. I give a lot of credit to all the parents and advocates who fought for this right because now I’m free to help Fern study for her upcoming spelling test.”

But House insists there’s still more work to be done.

“As more and more Americans are interact with individuals with Down syndrome, there’s a need for public education and acceptance,” House said.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the Centre Region Down Syndrome Society celebrates the lives of people who have Down syndrome with its 11th Annual Buddy Walk on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mount Nittany Middle School. The public, whether they know someone with Down syndrome or not, is invited to join in this non-competitive walk, which is followed by a festival featuring a bounce house, the Tumblebus and crafts and games.

For more information on the Buddy Walk or CRDSS, visit www.centreregiondownsyndrome.org.

 

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