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

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A marketing campaign evaluating individuals with Down’s syndrome to endangered animals corresponding 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 to be able to elevate consciousness of the problems that folks with Down’s syndrome face, with many struggling to enter the workforce and others dwelling in poverty.

On the website for the initiative, the society states that animal welfare organisations are supplied with 90 per cent extra assets 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 folks with growth disabilities usually expertise, others have expressed their opposition to the notion of evaluating individuals with Down’s syndrome to animals.

“It’s so necessary to oppose any eugenic efforts towards individuals with Down’s syndrome, however this language of speciation/preservation is bizarre and upsetting,” one particular person tweeted.

“Evaluating individuals to animals is not an excellent look,” one other particular person wrote.



“The developmentally disabled are nonetheless a part of the human species and must be handled that method.

“I feel your coronary heart was in the precise 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 does not matter who you might be… I do not like individuals 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 individuals with Down’s syndrome gown as endangered animals.

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

“We’re speaking that simply as many assist endangered animals, this neighborhood 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 software to the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature and we’re trying to be the primary human species on their listing,” he mentioned.


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

“You realize, whenever you take a look at the inhabitants measurement of these dwelling 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 keeping with the Down’s Syndrome Association.

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

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