“Alberta joins jurisdictions around the globe in recognizing World Down Syndrome Day. Greater awareness of Down syndrome will lead to greater inclusion for persons living with the condition.

“Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. It occurs in people of all races and economic levels. In Canada, about one in every 800 babies is born with Down syndrome. An estimated 45,000 Canadians live with the condition.

“People with Down syndrome attend school, work, live independent lives and contribute to society in many ways. The more aware we are of their capabilities and accomplishments, the more inclusive our society can become. When everyone has the opportunity to participate to the best of their abilities, we all benefit.

“Sadly, we see growing evidence of genetic discrimination against unborn children with Down syndrome. Some have even called for the ‘elimination’ of Down syndrome through this discrimination. We must all work harder to create a society where all human lives are welcomed in love, to lead fulfilling and dignified lives.”