Rick Scott declares this week “Down Syndrome Awareness Week”

Rick Scott veto

It’s already Wednesday, but that didn’t mean it was too late for Gov. Rick Scott to declare the week of March 14-18 Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

Scott’s office declared the designation Wednesday afternoon, along with a formal proclamation with the force of law marking out this week as one in observance of the developmental disorder, which affects nearly 400,000 Americans and their families.

“I’m proud to recognize this week as Down Syndrome Awareness Week in Florida. Every individual in our state should have the opportunities to achieve their dreams and lead healthy, fulfilling lives,” Scott said in a statement.

“Floridians with Down Syndrome significantly contribute to our businesses and communities. This week serves as an important reminder to recognize all individuals with Down Syndrome in Florida and their families for the support they provide.”

From the governor’s official proclamation:

WHEREAS, according to the Florida Department of Health, approximately one in every 796 children are born with Down syndrome in Florida; and

WHEREAS, people with Down syndrome possess a wide range of abilities, and are active participants in educational, occupational, social and recreational circles of the community; and

WHEREAS, the life expectancy from individuals with Down Syndrome has increased from age 25 in 1983 to age 60 today; and

WHEREAS, Down Syndrome Awareness Week provides an opportunity for families whose lives have been affected by this genetic disorder to celebrate life and to remember loved ones lost, to honor dedicated health professionals, and to connect with one another; and

WHEREAS, Down Syndrome Awareness Week in Florida will provide the opportunity to share information related to World Down Syndrome Day which is annually observed on March 21, to raise public awareness of Down Syndrome; The date was selected by Down Syndrome International (DSI) to signify the uniqueness of Down syndrome in the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome; On November 1, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly made a resolution to designate March 21st as World Down Syndrome Day to be observed every year beginning in 2012;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing March 14 – 18, 2016, as Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

Ryan Ray

Ryan Ray covers politics and public policy in North Florida and across the state. He has also worked as a legislative researcher and political campaign staffer. He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Linda Montalbano

    March 17, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    That is so nice but what good is it if the school districts refuse to provided services to the children. Where is Oral motor therapy? Where is occupational therapy? where is physical therapy? Just to start where is the due process hearings to fight the school districts when they refuse to provide services?

  • Barbara madore

    March 18, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I agree what good does this do? employment opportunities? I’ve lived in Florida for two years my 27 year old Down syndrome son can’t even get on a 12 year wait list for services! Down syndrome week why don’t you tell the real truth about Florida my son has been in the house for 2 years Florida doesn’t care about disabled persons!

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