Campaign comparing people with Down’s syndrome to endangered animals sparks controversy

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A marketing campaign evaluating folks with Down’s syndrome to endangered animals akin to rhinos, pandas and polar bears has stirred an enormous debate on-line, with some describing the idea as “tone deaf”.

The marketing campaign has been launched by the Canadian Down’s Syndrome Society so as to increase consciousness of the problems that individuals with Down’s syndrome face, with many struggling to enter the workforce and others residing in poverty.

On the website for the initiative, the society states that animal welfare organisations are supplied with 90 per cent extra sources and funding than Down’s syndrome organisations in North America.

As a part of the marketing campaign, they’re striving to have people formally recognised as an endangered species by the Worldwide Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Whereas some have praised the marketing campaign for elevating consciousness of the disadvantages that individuals with growth disabilities typically expertise, others have expressed their opposition to the notion of evaluating folks with Down’s syndrome to animals.

“It’s so necessary to oppose any eugenic efforts in opposition to folks with Down’s syndrome, however this language of speciation/preservation is bizarre and upsetting,” one individual tweeted.

“Evaluating folks to animals is not an excellent look,” one other individual wrote.



“The developmentally disabled are nonetheless a part of the human species and needs to be handled that manner.

“I believe your coronary heart was in the proper place, however you screwed this one up.”

Francie Munoz, a lady with Down’s syndrome, spoke to CBC Toronto about her disapproval of the marketing campaign.

“It would not matter who you’re… I do not like folks evaluating me as an animal, it is not truthful,” she mentioned.

“Love us for who we’re, not a personality, not an animal.”

The Canadian Down’s Syndrome Society has been defending the marketing campaign on-line, explaining that it did not imply to trigger offence by having folks with Down’s syndrome costume as endangered animals.

“We aren’t, for even one second, suggesting that individuals with Down’s syndrome are something aside from human,” the organisation wrote on Twitter in response to criticism.

“We’re speaking that simply as many assist endangered animals, this group wants consideration and assist too.”

Ben Tarr, a Canadian Down’s Syndrome Society board member, defined the motivation behind the marketing campaign.

“So we have really submitted an utility to the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature and we’re trying to be the primary human species on their checklist,” he mentioned.


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“The rationale for that’s, actually, we’re trying to garner assist.

“You understand, while you have a look at the inhabitants dimension of these residing with Down’s syndrome, what’s endangered is definitely the assist that we get.”

Roughly one in each 1,000 infants is born with Down’s syndrome, in response to the Down’s Syndrome Association.

There are presently round 40,000 folks with Down’s syndrome residing in the UK.

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