(HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.) – Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (Woodbury) joined Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez (D - Brentwood) and their colleagues in government on Tuesday, May 18 to support legislation that would designate March 21 as “Down Syndrome Awareness Day” in Suffolk County.
Upon passage of Suffolk’s legislation, World Down Syndrome Day would be observed island-wide for the first time on March 21, 2022. The full Nassau County Legislature recently issued a proclamation denoting World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, which Legislator Lafazan presented to lawmakers during the press conference.
“When Suffolk passes this bill, all of Long Island’s three million residents will observe March 21 as a celebration of the love, advocacy, and strength that our neighbors with Down syndrome display,” Legislator Lafazan said. “Through this action, we are stating loudly and categorically that our government welcomes, celebrates, and appreciates people of all different abilities. I look forward to Suffolk County passing this bill, and I am excited to celebrate this new day of distinction with all of you next year.”
Each year, approximately 6,000 babies (or, approximately 1 in 700) are born with Down syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition in the United States. While research and early intervention have resulted in dramatic improvements in the lifespans of patients, further investigation is needed to pinpoint causes and further refine treatment.
“It is my pleasure to work in partnership with Legislator Lafazan as we designate March 21st in Suffolk and Nassau County as ‘Down Syndrome Awareness Day’ to support those who work tirelessly with families, schools, healthcare professionals and government to help create opportunities, raise awareness and facilitate solutions for these valued members of our community,” Legislator Gonzalez said. “We have set an example for the entire nation, and I look forward to this day being recognized on the state and federal levels.”