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Speaker Series: The Clark Family on Down Syndrome Awareness

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day as 3-21 signifies the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. disABILITY Awareness speakers Sarah and Phil Clark share their story about Sarah’s countless abilities to students throughout central Indiana, and in this blog with all of you.

Our family finds such great value in the education that the Joseph Maley Foundation provides to classrooms throughout the Indianapolis area. We have enjoyed participating in the JMF disABILITY Awareness program by sharing a glimpse into my sister Sarah’s life with the young students. With our time, we are able to share aspects of her life that demonstrate her many abilities. We also educate them on what makes her unique.

When Sarah, who has Down syndrome, was asked to share her story with the students, she was unsure. Just like many of us, she is hesitant in speaking to large groups of people. However, we reminded her of the many aspects of her life that she should be proud to share. She is an amazing artist, caring friend, compassionate teacher’s aide to a kindergarten and preschool classroom, and has a cheerful smile that brightens anyone’s day.

As Sarah’s story demonstrates, she is not defined by having Down syndrome. Her differences give her unique ways to impact the lives of the people she comes across. As we share with the students, we each have ways that make us unique. Our differences are what make friendships and life interesting. These differences are also what allow us to be impactful in our own way.

We are thankful that the Joseph Maley Foundation has programs to spread disability awareness to students in the Indianapolis area. By participating in and supporting these types of programs, we hope to create a more accepting future for everyone.

Post written by: Phil Clark, disABILITY Awareness Speaker