Local advocates observe World Down Syndrome Day

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Posted at 10:58 PM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 23:21:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day Monday, the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky hosted an open house to welcome families they serve.

"We're celebrating people with Down Syndrome," said Traci Brewer, the executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky. "And I think too often that we aren't used to celebrating Down Syndrome."

Brewer, who has a daughter with Down Syndrome, explained that the day for global awareness is observed on March 21 to signify the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down Syndrome.

The United Nations declared March 21 World Down Syndrome Day in 2011.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky provides services and resources to about 400 families. The programs it provides include cooking classes, book clubs, educational outreach, and a summer adventure camp.

Emily Wright, 33, said the organization is more like a family.

"I love the interactions with my colleagues and just being able to do my work," said Wright, who is an administrative assistant with DSACK.

Wright said she is passionate about making other people with Down Syndrome aware of the opportunities in front of them.

"We want to show these people what we can do to help them with their skills," Wright said.

Brewer said people like Wright want to be employed and connected with their community.

"They don't want you to feel sorry for them," Brewer said. "They want to give back. They want to be accepted for who they are."