EDMESTON, 10/21/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today joined students and staff at Pathfinder Village in recognizing October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
“At my urging Governor Paterson has issued an official proclamation naming October Down Syndrome Awareness Month in New York state,” said Senator Seward. “I am proud to take this opportunity to increase awareness of Down syndrome and to promote inclusion and acceptance of individuals born with the condition.”
In 1991, the first National Down Syndrome Awareness month was established through an executive order by President George H.W. Bush. That proclamation states, “…we know that many individuals with Down syndrome are both determined and able to lead active, productive lives. Thanks to early intervention and mainstreaming, as well as improved treatment of physical health problems related to Down syndrome, thousands are doing just that.”
Senator Seward unveiled the official proclamation from Governor Paterson at Pathfinder Village, the world’s only known residential community devoted to Down syndrome.
“Pathfinder Village was delighted to have Senator Seward in the village today to present Governor Paterson’s official proclamation,” said Paul Landers, chief executive officer of Pathfinder Village. “Furthermore, we were very pleased to receive a special certificate from the senator’s office recognizing the hard work and dedication of the staff at Pathfinder Village. The Down syndrome community is very fortunate to have Senator Seward as an advocate and we appreciate the outstanding work he does for the state.”
“As a member of the board of directors at Pathfinder Village since 1980, I have been fortunate to watch the community grow first-hand,” Seward added. “The hard-working, caring teachers and staff at Pathfinder have made the difference in countless lives, enriching those they work with and their families.
“Those with Down syndrome continue to weave their way into the fabric of daily life. I commend them for overcoming challenges that many of us take for granted, and look forward to continued medical breakthroughs on their behalf,” Seward concluded.
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 733 babies is born with Down syndrome and there are more than 400,000 people living with the condition in the United States.