Monday, November 10, 2008

The "Mayor" of Midwood: Educating Leaders of ALL Kinds

By Heather Chin

Some residents in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood have already chosen their president: Daniel Dory, a local 23-year-old who previously served as unofficial “mayor” of their street.

Danny, as everyone calls him, has trisomy 21 Down Syndrome, where each gene has an extra chromosome. But his outgoing and independent personality, combined with a love of life and all the people in it, make him a natural friend and leader. They also challenge commonly held public preconceptions about what someone with this most common of genetic conditions is capable of achieving in life.

Sarah Palin’s nomination as the Republican vice presidential candidate promised to broaden that awareness. As Americans met the Alaska Governor and her family, including her newborn son Trig, who has Down Syndrome, Gov. Palin declared that if she and John McCain were elected, families of special needs children would have “a friend in the White House.” In that large and tight-knit community whose voices often go unheeded, such promises have sparked contrasting feelings of hope and circumspection.

Read the rest of the article here...

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