Finally, supported by the National Down Syndrome Society, the NDSS, is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We take these thirty one days to do everything we can to inform as many people as possible about Down Syndrome. More importantly, we celebrate those who fight and persevere through it. We, as the official organization so eloquently puts, celebrate abilities as opposed to celebrating disabilities. We encourage those with Down Syndrome to speak out about their experiences and lives, so that others may better empathize and coexist with them. For a frequently misunderstood group, this is a very important task. One of the events critical to this mission is the Buddy Walk. The first Buddy Walk was held in 1995, by the National Down Syndrome Society, as a means of commemorating Down Syndrome Awareness month and encouraging the integration and acceptance of people with Down Syndrome. This year, over two hundred fifty Buddy Walks will take place.
The Buddy Walk is, in fact, the primary event for Down Syndrome awareness in America. Its purpose is the coalescence of friends from all across the ability spectrum. The year of its inception, seventeen of these events were held nationwide, the first being led by the American former actor and folk singer Chris Burke. Just four years later, in Times Square, a video was released to draw the notice of everyone to the Buddy Walk Organization, towards the public normalization of those with Down Syndrome. Another two years followed before the official Buddy Walk logo, a blue and yellow design of a united family, was created and introduced. Wal-Mart even aired a commercial the same year in Colorado Springs, CO, in which there was footage of the Buddy Walk. This publicity led to a vast increase in the number of Buddy Walk events held. Currently, the Buddy walk is sponsored by such companies as MiraFlex, Aardvark, and Imagination Movers. These companies put their time and money behind the National Down Syndrome Society to hold events such as this and improve the quality of life for those with Down Syndrome nationwide. Join a Buddy Walk today and make a new friend! There is a whole month and hundreds of events.