By Emily Shire - TheWeek.com
The United Nations has declared March 21 World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), with the goal of "raising public awareness" of the intellectual disability. The U.N. hopes to spark discourse about Down Syndrome, starting with the Lots of Socks campaign to wear mismatched and brightly colored socks "to get people talking about WDSD."
However, many advocates believe that such campaigns are not enough, especially in light of the recent death of Robert Ethan Saylor. Saylor, a 26-year-old Maryland man with Down Syndrome, died of asphyxiation at the hands of local police. After seeing Zero Dark Thirty and being left alone briefly by his caretaker, Saylor returned to the theater and refused to buy another ticket. Mall security dragged and restrained him, and he died in the process. While the death is still being investigated, many are wondering if better-established treatment and respect for individuals with Down Syndrome would have prevented his death.