Member Minute: Tommy Steiner

Lights of Inclusion Shine Brighter

Recently, my parents and I drove down to the riverfront to see the walking bridge lit up in blue and yellow to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. My mind went back to the early years of Tommy’s life when inclusion was not common at all and just getting Tommy simple resources and therapy was a struggle. Today, the world is very different and the lights of inclusion and opportunity shine much brighter for young children (and adults!) with DS and their families thanks to the hard hard work of groups like Down Syndrome of Louisville, National Down Syndrome Society, National Down Syndrome Congress, other organizations, and many parents, families, friends, and self-advocates who have pushed for and implemented change in our society.
There are still many gaps to fill, roadblocks to knock down, and places to integrate, so I don’t want to pretend like young families today don’t have challenges. But, fortunately, there are a lot more accessible resources, educated community members, inclusive schools and workplaces, and visible role models today than there were 30 years ago when Tommy was born.

“Today was a great moment to pause and celebrate where we are and to reflect on the gifts of people with DS. Tomorrow it will be time to keep forging ahead so that the future is even brighter. Let’s keep this light illuminated and spread it far and wide!”

– Sibling, Robbie Steiner

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