FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ADVOCATES AND LEGISLATORS RECOGNIZE WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY AT TEXAS CAPITOL
Advocates for Down Syndrome Visit Austin To Speak with Legislators
AUSTIN, TX (MARCH 21, 2019) – Over 80 people from across the State of Texas will be in Austin today for the first World Down Syndrome Day Celebration and Advocacy Day urging legislators to remember individuals with Down syndrome as they debate and pass legislation. Advocates from Down Syndrome Texas will call on the Texas House of Representatives and Senate to support people with disabilities through bills in special education, employment, transition and higher education. They will also join the Texas Advocate rally to end Institutional Bias, asking the Texas Legislature to move state funds from State Supported Living Centers to community-based services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Legislators are doing their part to raise awareness. Representative Joe Moody (D- El Paso) will introduce HR800, a proclamation recognizing World Down Syndrome Day, authored by Representatives Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso), Tan Parker (R-Denton) and Phil King (R-Weatherford). The proclamation notes in part that "Much progress has been made [to] secure the rights of people with Down syndrome to live at home, attend schools, access appropriate health care, get married, find work, and contribute to society... all Texans are encouraged to take part by helping to build a culture of greater respect and inclusion for those living with Down syndrome."
Rep. King's office will also be handing out socks to all the Texas State Representatives in keeping with the day's campaign to Rock your Socks and celebrate difference. Community members should wear colorful, crazy socks, and use them as a conversation starter for discussions about inclusion and acceptance, following the 2019 World Down Syndrome Day theme to "leave no one behind."
Down syndrome is a condition caused when a person has three copies of the 21st chromosome, therefore World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on the 21st day of the third month.
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition; one in every 800 babies in the United States is 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.
To learn more about Down syndrome and resources available in Texas, visit downsyndrometexas.org. For more information about legislation and policy that impacts people with Down syndrome, follow the Texas Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition on Facebook.
About Down Syndrome Texas
Down Syndrome Texas is a collaboration of Texas Down Syndrome Associations and other organizations who serve Texans with Down Syndrome and their families. The collaboration includes: Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley, Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, Down Syndrome Association of Houston, Down Syndrome Association of South Texas, Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas, Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas, East Texas Down Syndrome Group, Galveston-Houston Families Exploring Down Syndrome, Gigi's Playhouse El Paso, Gigi's Playhouse Sugarland, Red River Valley Down Syndrome Society, Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association, and the Upside Down Club of Abilene.
MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT:
Down Syndrome Texas/Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association