Photo Series Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day With ‘Lots of Socks’
World Down Syndrome Day is March 21 (in honor of people with Down syndrome having three copies of their 21st chromosome). To celebrate this year, Community Living Kincardine & District (CLKD), a nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, had staff member and photographer Shandra Robbescehuten capture the beautiful differences and similarities between 10 people with Down syndrome.
The result is the portrait series below, featuring people of all ages from the Ontario area, taking part in the “Locks of Socks” movement, a worldwide campaign to wear fun and wildly designed socks on World Down Syndrome Day to promote awareness and inclusiveness when people ask you about your footwear. Next Monday, more than 20 businesses in Kincardine, Ontario, will display large poster prints of the photos to promote World Down Syndrome Day.
Subject Adam Dunlop, 33, (below) told The Mighty he hopes others with Down syndrome who see these photos will be inspired.
“I want them to have confidence in their abilities, to have self-confidence,” he said in an email.
“I want the world to have a different outlook,” he added, “to see that we are all unique and that everyone has their own strengths and differences.”
Amy Boudrias (below), another subject, said the portraits make her feel proud of herself.
“Having Down syndrome makes me feel special,” she told The Mighty in an email.
Robbescheuten said taking the portraits was a joy, mostly because her subjects were so open and comfortable being themselves. The reaction to the series has been overwhelming so far and she hopes the pictures continue to spread awareness.
“My wish for those who see these photos and are unfamiliar with Down syndrome is for them to just take a moment to pause and think about the people in the photos,” Robbescheuten told The Mighty in an email. “To look at them as the contributing people they are, who give back to their communities. To learn something new and start conversations… After all, it’s human connections that are so important in all of this.”
Have you seen the first film with a national release to star a person with Down syndrome? Check out the film “Where Hope Grows” today!