Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Beyond 'awareness'

We're still catching up with some of the many, many fine blogs and articles written for and about World Down Syndrome Day - here are two thoughtful and thought provoking posts that look beyond PR campaigns:

Resting on World Down Syndrome Day
Margaret Bender, The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl, 21st March 2014
... Tens of thousands of families with children with Down syndrome as well as people with Down syndrome are wearing T-21 tee shirts, mismatched socks, and donning yellow and blue for Down syndrome awareness day. Me, I am sharing others' posts and liking lots and lots of statuses, but beyond that I am a wall flower ...

World Down Syndrome Day - The Long Game. Or why cute and happy is not enough.
David Perry, How Did We Get Into This Mess, 21st March 2014
... When it comes to the cutesy and commercialized elements of the Down syndrome internet, I am a curmudgeon.

My basic argument is this. Cute pictures are nice. They are, however, the low-hanging fruit. They render our children as objects to coo over, and you know what, my son IS cute. Most kids are cute. Cute is what kids do. But the labels of cute and sweet persist past the delicate phases of toddlerhood and infancy, defining even the perceptions of teenagers and adults. What about the moments in which humans, real, complex, three-dimensional humans, are not so cute? ...

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