Employers welcoming people with Down syndrome with open arms


VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – They were once shunned from the workforce. But now, people with Down syndrome are being welcomed with open arms.

Peter Weber is 30 years old.  He works at Home Depot, lives in Richmond, loves his girlfriend, and says he’s very happy. He has Down syndrome. Weber is part of an increasing workforce of people with the chromosomal condition.

Barbara Laird’s daughter is 27 and onto her second job. She notes the company went looking for her. “They, like a lot of companies are beginning to realize… that when you hire someone with Down syndrome or a disability to work with you, you get a fantastic employee.”

“Down syndrome is not a disease, disorder, or medical condition. People with Down syndrome are not afflicted; they are not suffering from it,” says Kirk Crowther with The Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

He tells us once you get past outdated stereotypes, it’s not surprising that many people are happy to employ those with the chromosomal condition.

“Today, people with Down syndrome are completing school, getting competitive jobs, getting married, and being an intrical part of the community. Statistics show that employees with Down syndrome stay in jobs longer and have a lesser sick-day rate,” says Crowther.

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