MDSC’s Annual Conference Refutes National Magazine’s Tasteless Insult
BURLINGTON, Mass., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On Saturday, March 17, 2012, just days before World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress will host its 28(th) Annual Conference, among the largest educational events on Down syndrome in the nation, at the DCU Center in Worcester.
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GQ Insults Down Syndrome Community
This year’s theme, “Style Down Syndrome,” is a reproach to GQ magazine’s tasteless article last summer that offended the entire Down syndrome community in Massachusetts and throughout the country. On July 15, 2011, GQ’s John B. Thompson slammed Bostonians as the worst dressed in the country. Not only is Boston a “bad-taste storm sewer” where all the worst fashion ideas come to “stagnate and putrefy,” GQ said, the city also suffers from “a kind of Style Down Syndrome, where a little extra ends up ruining everything.”
DS Community Responds in Force
As Dr. Brian G. Skotko (pictured right with his sister Kristin) – a Children’s Hospital Boston physician, MDSC board member, and brother to someone with Down syndrome – wrote in hugely popular blog response, “Go ahead, GQ, and mock my blue whale-emblemed, Nantucket-red pants….but do not mess with my sister.” The story hit a nerve within the Down syndrome community and well beyond. It was picked up by the Washington Post, FOX News, Boston Business Journal, Boston Magazine, Boston Globe and Boston Herald.
National Star Who Broke Barriers to Attend Conference
At our conference, we will officially take back what Style Down Syndrome really means: determination, integrity, hope, humor, and yes, style. In this spirit, we will welcome a Special Guest to our conference, Ryan Langston, the boy model with Down syndrome who took the advertising world by storm recently. Ryan broke down barriers when he appeared in two national ads, for Nordstrum last fall, then in a Target circular (Ryan is far left) in January. The story drew national attention, including from the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
About our Annual Conference
Each spring the MDSC hosts its Annual Conference, where more than 600 parents, family members, educators, self-advocates and brothers and sisters gather to hear from local and national experts on a variety of important topics relating to Down syndrome.
About Down Syndrome
World Down Syndrome Awareness Day is celebrated annually on March 21. This date, 3/21, was chosen because Down syndrome occurs when a person has three (rather than two) copies of the 21st chromosome. One in every 691 babies is born with Down syndrome. Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to more than 60 today. People with Down syndrome attend school, work; participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many ways.
About the MDSC
In the early years, parents met in a living room to share information about their children, provide support for each other and strategize how to educate their families, schools and communities. More than 28 years later, the MDSC has over 3,000 members and a vision to ensure that every person with Down syndrome has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. Today, the MDSC is on the cutting edge of Down syndrome advocacy at a time when an innovative, forward-thinking vision is needed.
20 Burlington Mall Road, Suite 261, Burlington, MA 01803 | P: 781-221-0024 | F: 781-221-0011 | www.mdsc.org
Contact: Angela Ortiz; 781-221-0024
SOURCE Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress