‘Just Like You – Down Syndrome’ Receives Positive Images in the Media Award

Cast members from 'Just Like You - Down Syndrome': (left to right) Elyssa, Bretlyn, Rachel, Savanna, Sam and Bobby. There will be a film screening and Q&A on December 12 of the TASH Conference

Cast members from ‘Just Like You – Down Syndrome’: (left to right) Elyssa, Bretlyn, Rachel, Savanna, Sam and Bobby. There will be a film screening and Q&A on December 12 of the TASH Conference

WASHINGTON (November 12, 2013) – TASH, a nonprofit advocate for inclusion and the human rights of people with significant disabilities, will recognize the film Just Like You – Down Syndrome as the recipient of its Positive Images in the Media Award. An award presentation will take place during this year’s TASH Conference, December 11, 2013, in Chicago, Ill.

The Positive Images in the Media Award, given annually, honors presentations in film, print and other media that promote positive images of people with disabilities. Awardees are honored for their contribution toward the elimination of harmful stereotypes by portraying those with disabilities accurately and with recognition of the complexities of being human.

Just Like You – Down Syndrome examines the lives of Elyssa, Rachel and Sam, three young people who share their likes, hopes, challenges and dreams in order to demystify misperceptions and show that people with Down syndrome are, in fact, just like you. The film was produced in collaboration with Just Like You Films and the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City, which sought to challenge viewers to move past labels in a candid and often humorous look into the lives of the three cast members, who are joined by three non-disabled peers in the film.

“The Down Syndrome Guild and Just Like You Films are so honored to receive this award. We are amazed at the positive feedback the film has received and love that many families, associations, schools and professionals use it to promote inclusion and acceptance for our friends with Down syndrome,” said Amy Allison, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City.

The film depicts the lives of everyday kids who just happen to have an extra chromosome. In addition to the types of dreams, interests and activities that occupy the time of any kid, Just Like You – Down Syndrome explores just what Down syndrome is, how it may impact a fellow student and ways that kids can be helpful, patient and encouraging. As Elyssa says, “Sometimes I need some more time to put my books in my backpack or zip up my clothes, but I’m working hard to do the same things you do every day.”

Just Like You – Down Syndrome is a remarkable film that shows, above all, we’re people first,” said Barb Trader, TASH Executive Director. “For years, the complete expression and availability of full inclusion in our communities has been denied to people based on a label of ‘disability.’ Media projects like this that dispel myths and bring viewers closer to the lives of people with disabilities are steadily breaking down old stereotypes to show how universal we all are in what we want in life.”

TASH will present an award to the film’s creators during the opening general session of the TASH Conference in Chicago, Ill., December 11, 2013. The film will also be shown the following night of the conference, with a question and answer period with the producers and cast to follow.

To attend the December 12 film screening, please send an e-mail to conference@tash.org with the subject line “film screening.” There are a limited number of seats, and those interested are strongly encouraged to RSVP early. Learn more about TASH at http://tash.org, and find additional information about this year’s TASH Conference at http://tash.org/2013tash.

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About TASH

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, TASH is an international grassroots leader in advancing inclusive communities through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1975, we are a volunteer-driven organization that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with the most significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and institutionalization. The inclusive practices we validate through research have been shown to improve outcomes for all people. More information about TASH can be found at www.tash.org.

2013 TASH Conference

For more than 37 years, the TASH Conference has impacted the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. The 2013 TASH Conference will be held December 11-14 in Chicago, Ill., at the Hilton Chicago. Learn more at http://tash.org/2013tash.

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