Chapel Haven paused Monday, March 21, 2016, to mark World Down Syndrome Day.

Students and community members gathered in the Chapel Haven Outreach Center to sign a large mural marking the important day and to pose for some photo-ops. News Channel 8 was on hand to capture the event for the evening news.

Monday, March 21, 2015 marks the tenth annual World Down Syndrome Day, the fourth official date since it was recognized by the United Nations in 2011.

People with Down syndrome, their families, friends, teachers, coworkers and supporters celebrated  across the globe. Celebrated on the 21st day of the third month of the year, the date is symbolic of the third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down syndrome.

“Chapel Haven has been teaching adults with Down Syndrome how to live happy, productive and independent lives since our founding in 1972,” said Chapel Haven President Michael Storz. “Our adults have their own apartments, work in satisfying jobs and have friends – all the hallmarks of a happy adult life!”

“It is important to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21 because there should be a day to celebrate the needs of people with Down syndrome. We are able to do things that other people can and can’t do – just like anybody from around the world,” says National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke. “No matter who we are or where we live, give us a chance to do something with our lives so we can look forward to the future.”

There are over 400,000 Americans living with Down syndrome. It is the most common chromosomal condition.

About Chapel Haven: Founded in New Haven, CT in 1972, Chapel Haven is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education with a mission of teaching adults with cognitive disabilities and social disabilities to live independent and productive lives. Chapel Haven has grown to serve more than 250 adults (18 years of age and older) in the residence and the community with three distinct programs; REACH, Asperger’s Syndrome Adult Transition (ASAT), and Chapel Haven West (Tucson, AZ).

For more information visit www.worlddownsyndromeday.org.

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