YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Monday marked the 11th annual World Down Syndrome Day.
The day is celebrated on March 21 — symbolizing the third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down Syndrome. Events are held all over the world to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in the community.
The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley has been holding events since Saturday to celebrate the day. The local group pushes for the rights of those with Down Syndrome, and the group says it has made remarkable progress in the past years as to how the public views people with the syndrome.
“They participate in activities like you or I would. They are now included in activities, sporting events with just regular people in the community. They are now considered. We are more alike than different,” said Michele Kijowski Jones, co-founder and president of the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley.
Several local businesses and schools had “Dress Down for Down Syndrome” days.
Jones said they were overjoyed with the amount of support they received from the Valley.