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.