"Now we know that people with disabilities can learn and have a full, rich life. The challenge is to erase negative attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, get rid of the stereotypes and break the barriers for people with disabilities. (Kingsley, 1996, p. 6)." (Page 72)
Upon reading this quote I recalled an article I read in the Providence Journal a few years back. The article was about a young woman who had Down Syndrome (sadly I couldn't find the article online). She lived in her own apartment in Providence with the help of several aides four of whom were local college students. The article really hit me because the young woman the article was about had been in my Girl Scout Troop back in 2000. She earned all the same badges and patches the rest of the troop. She wasn't given watered-down, easier activities than the rest of the troop. She was even able to give a presentation on Down Syndrome to a younger troop.
Then a few weeks ago I came across this video about a young man with Down Syndrome who owns his restaurant.
"How absurd to be judged by others at all,especially by those who have never experienced a disability or who are unwillingly providing us with support or who don't listen to the voices we have. (p. 12)" (Page 73)
Both of the quote I have put so far talk about how people with Down Syndrome should be treated like people who do not have it. Just because someone was born with Down Syndrome doesn't make them any less a person. Later on in the article Kliewer talked about a high school freshman with Down Syndrome who went from a segregated school to a public school. He mentioned that before the student entered public school she had poor motor skills, low self-esteem and would often "act-out" in class. Then after she entered the public school all of that changed. Her motor skills improved, her communication skills improved and her behavior improved. I particularly enjoyed reading the little excerpt of one of the student's newspaper articles:
quoted in Harris, 1994, p. 296)" (Page 93)
-Things to consider:-
I honestly think that the quote above can easily sum up the entire article quite nicely. Just because a person was born with Downs Syndrome it doesn't necessarily mean that they are handicapped.