Adults with Down syndrome are speaking up for their rights and participating in events related to their interests and needs. As reported on Disability Scoop, a recent opportunity has been presented by President Obama for a young actress, Lauren Potter, to serve on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Lauren, who has Down syndrome, portrays a cheerleader on the award winning TV show “Glee.” The committee Lauren will join consists of 21 citizens and 13 federal representatives who are charged with advising the president and the secretary of health and human services on issues pertaining to Americans with intellectual disabilities. Her recognition on “Glee” led Lauren to become involved nationally as a self-advocate, speaking out against use of the word “retard” and the bullying of people with disabilities.
Lauren is pictured with Jane Lynch, who portrays the cynical physical education teacher on “Glee.” Ms. Lynch is the sister of a young woman with Down syndrome who died recently. This event was poignantly portrayed on an episode of the program. (A discussion of this episode appears on my blog entitled “Life Expectancy”.)
Television has the potential and opportunity to promote awareness of and respect for persons with disabilities. We celebrate the enlightenment that “Glee” has advanced.