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Chapel Haven Schleifer Center once again teamed up with DS-ACT to celebrate World Down Syndrome Awareness Day on Monday, March 21, 2022.

For Chapel Haven, taking time to celebrate Down Syndrome awareness is important, as fully one-third of our 250 adults of varying abilities have Down Syndrome. World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. This date was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

The celebration was action-packed, and included live coverage from Fox 61 News and a story and video of the events by Maya McFadden of the New Haven Independent.

Click here to view a story by Julia LeBlanc of Fox 61 news:

World Down Syndrome Day celebrated at Chapel Haven Schleifer Center

Click here to read a story by the New Haven Independent

Chapel Haven Parades Down Whalley

Events included:

An arts workshop to make signage and palm cards for distribution along the walk

A “silly socks” fashion show in the courtyard at CHSC.

And a healthy walk/parade from our courtyard through Westville. We will celebrated Daffodils for Down Syndrome Awareness, distributing 150 daffodils and palm cards with awareness slogans about life with Down Syndrome, including:

  • We can fall in love
  • We can marry
  • We can live independently
  • We are unique
  • We can play sports
  • We can be happy
  • We can live a good life

The activity was followed by lunch and  cooking decorating organized by CareerAbility in the courtyard.

“We have many adults with Down syndrome living happily in our community,” said Michael Storz, President, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center. “Down syndrome is characterized simply by one extra chromosome. The message we will carry through this week is that people with Down syndrome are no different than you and me – they can lead happy, independent, productive lives and they are doing so in our community every day.”

“Challenging stereotypes about people who live with Down syndrome is a critical part of the work we do,” said Shanon McCormick, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of  CT. “Chapel Haven students and alumni bring that work to life.  We are delighted to join Chapel Haven in raising awareness about what people with Down syndrome can achieve when given the opportunity.”

Check out our photo gallery from the day!

About Chapel Haven Schleifer Center:

Founded in New Haven, CT in 1972, Chapel Haven Schleifer Center 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. About one-third of the adults of CHSC have Down Syndrome and range in age from 18 into the senior years.

About the Down Syndrome Association of CT

The Down Syndrome Association of Connecticut (DS ACT) is a statewide organization of families, professionals and individuals who live with Down syndrome.  Founded in 1986 by parents seeking greater opportunities for their children born with Down syndrome, DS ACT supports and empowers families with information, education and advocacy throughout the lifespan, beginning as early as a prenatal diagnosis.