For many of us, every day is a chance to promote Down syndrome awareness—advocating for our children to be included in school and community activities, highlighting their talents, giving them opportunities to show just how much they have to share. The calendar, however, provides us with one month during the year when we can really step up those efforts. Here are some suggestions for how you might promote Down syndrome awareness in your community:
- Distribute NADS posters and bookmarks to area schools, libraries, or businesses (you can order them through the NADS office or the website: www.nads.org)
- Provide your obstetrician or your family doctor with updates about how your child is doing and, if they are receptive, with family photos or information about Down syndrome
- Donate books about Down syndrome to your local school or library
- Talk to your child’s class
- Arrange for a NADS speaker to give a presentation at your child’s school or at an organization in your community
- Contact local media about doing a human interest story about your family or about activities involving people with Down syndrome in your area
- Write a letter to your local paper
- Organize a special event during October to highlight the gifts of people with Down syndrome—a performance, or an art exhibit or a screening of a movie or video featuring characters with Down syndrome (you could also show the NADS video, Talents that Inspire)
- Organize a “Down Syndrome Awareness Day” at a local restaurant or community event
October 2010 Public Awareness Activities:
NADS board members are distributing books on Down syndrome in their local communities.
Michael Johnson, a local artist with Down syndrome, will have his work showcased at Soothe Your Senses Salon, 6260 N. Broadway in Chicago. NADS posters and bookmarks will be available at the Salon as well.
Reverse Trick or Treating:
One family is promoting awareness by reverse trick or treating. This year as they go door to door asking for candy treats throughout the neighborhood on Halloween night, they also will give a treat. A lifesaver stapled to a NADS bookmark with a small label that reads “Thanks for all the support that this community has shown our family. It is their attempt at wider public awareness and it rests on the belief that the simple act of one person saying thank you for kindness can be very powerful. And if a child (especially a child with Down syndrome) gives this to an adult—it’s doubly powerful. What better public awareness can you have?
If you have any successful public awareness strategies, we would love to hear about them. Please send your stories/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will share them with others on our website.