EDMESTON – Pathfinder Village is the only residential community devoted completely to aiding those with Down syndrome in the United States and the organization, along with other mental health advocates, is drawing the public’s attention to October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
“As it also happens to be National Disability Employment Awareness month too, and one really has a lot to do with the other,” said Pathfinder’s CEO, Paul C. Landers.
Landers said a key component in coping with a Down Syndrome disability is being able to socially integrate in the community and allowing residents to interact with other people. A big part of that development at Pathfinder has included countless community events and more than one third of their residents having regular jobs at local businesses.
“What the public should understand is the degree of progress we’ve made over the years in understanding the disability,” said Landers. To demonstrate the medical gains in the field, he explained that in 1989 the average life expectancy for a person with Down Syndrome was 29 years; today it is 60.