As the international debate continues on the use of CRISPR gene-manipulating technology on human embryos, Nature journal this week gave serious consideration to concerns about its societal consequences. In a news feature entitled, “Should you edit your child’s genes?” author Erika Check Hayden takes a refreshingly humane approach by asking people with disabilities what they think of the real-life prospect of “editing out” genes responsible for disability before a person is even born.
July 26 marks a momentous anniversary for persons with disabilities living in the United States. On that day in 1990, President George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the first legislation of its kind focused solely on prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities and mandating that all Americans be accorded equality in pursuing jobs, goods, services and other opportunities.
The ADA has radically improved the lives of those living with disabilities over the last 25 years, especially in the areas of accessibility, education, and employment. However, laws can only protect individuals from institutionalized discrimination. Twenty-five years later, forms of discrimination can still be seen to a greater or lesser extent in American societal attitudes – perhaps even more so in attitudes toward and fears about those with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.
This March 21st marks the 10th year of a worldwide campaign to celebrate and advocate for people with Down syndrome (DS). World Down Syndrome Day always falls on the 21st day of the third month, a meaningful selection representing the third copy of the 21st chromosome, the characteristic possessed by all individuals with Down syndrome.
This year, World Down Syndrome Day will highlight the positive contributions that families make for their loved ones and others in the DS community. The theme, “‘My Opportunities, My Choices’ – Enjoying Full and Equal Rights and the Role of Families,” was appropriately chosen because 2015 is also the 21st anniversary of the International Year of the Family as declared by the United Nations.