Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day

Two people doing high five (© Media Access Awards Presented by Easterseals/Getty Images)
Actors Zack Gottsagen and Jamie Brewer speak at the 2021 Media Access Awards Presented by Easterseals November 17, 2021. (© Media Access Awards Presented by Easterseals/Getty Images)

“Some people are quick to make snap judgments, especially about individuals with disabilities: ‘Okay, they can’t do this. They can’t be seen in certain things. They can’t do some things that we can do,'” actress Jamie Brewer told Ability Magazine about why representation of people with Down syndrome matters.

“But the truth of it is — if you really look at the true heart of things — we can.”

Brewer, known best for her roles in American Horror Story, is one of many actors with Down syndrome who are gaining visibility and representation in Hollywood, just as people with Down syndrome become a larger and increasingly important part of America’s workforce.

In the United States, roughly a quarter of a million people have Down syndrome. More than half of adult Americans with Down syndrome have a job.

Adults with Down syndrome work in banks, corporations, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, offices, restaurants, the music and entertainment industry, clerical positions, child care, the sports industry and the tech sector, among others.

“Like anybody else, people with Down syndrome want to have a job where their work will be valued,” says the National Down Syndrome Society.

World Down Syndrome Day is Monday, March 21.