NCDSA’s Response to HB 453 – April 2nd

North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance (NCDSA) is an effective, compassionate, and comprehensive resource on Down syndrome throughout North Carolina. NCDSA envisions a culture in which all people with Down syndrome are empowered to achieve their full potential and live healthy, productive lives as valued citizens within the fabric of society. NCDSA has a robust New and Expectant Parent Program and Medical Outreach Program as part of the North Carolina First Call Program, a program free of charge. NCDSA provides accurate, up-to-date, unbiased information about the realities of raising a child with Down syndrome in the 21st century. NCDSA works diligently to dispel the antiquated myths associated with Down syndrome. NCDSA arms health care providers who deliver a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome to a family with information that paints a truer picture about their family’s future. NCDSA provides new parents with crucial information as well as pairs them with trained parent mentors who walk beside them on their new path in life.

NCDSA believes children with Down syndrome living in North Carolina benefit from Early Intervention Services that provide supports during critical developmental years. Early Intervention Services lay the foundation for building a solid beginning to a child’s education. An education that includes learning beside their peers without disabilities and prepares them for life after high school. NCDSA works to advance the interests of adults with Down syndrome to live and work in the community, often with supports provided by state funded services. When supports and services benefiting people with Down syndrome are fully funded and made available to families, quality of life and healthcare outcomes improve for people with Down syndrome.

To that end, NCDSA believes by providing accurate, up-to-date information about Down syndrome and funding supports and services to benefit people with Down syndrome across their lifespan, people with Down syndrome can achieve a full and productive life. North Carolina House Bill 453 titled Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics was crafted without consultation of NCDSA. The Staff and Board of Directors of NCDSA is committed to the Down syndrome community and is encouraged by other initiatives that work to directly impact the lives of people with Down syndrome in North Carolina. Subsequently, NCDSA encourages its supporters and allies to work to strengthen the programs designed to provide a dignified and substantial future for people with Down syndrome living in North Carolina.

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