As an organization that is close to the issue, we have been following with interest the press activity in the days since Sarah Palin’s introductory speech. We have a broad list of contacts in the local and national disability community, as well as excellent resources and a deep understanding of the testing issues, as we have been working on issues around testing for the last two years.
We recently held a listening session with U.S. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Spokane, where we presented parent stories, a literature review that we commissioned from a PSU student investigating attitudes in the medical community around genetic testing, and a powerful presentation by a genetic counselor at OHSU. We also had a self-advocate speak about her life and experiences as a young person with Down syndrome.
We have strong links in the local medical community, and we have a draft proposal under consideration at OHSU and Providence to do training session around these issues. We are a credible, local organization who values our ties with the broader community, and we have done a lot of thinking about the issues that are on the airwaves these days. It is inevitable in circumstances like this that misinformation circulates, especially on internet forums. We rely on the local media for strong, unbiased reporting on the issues, and hope that we can become a resource to tackle these complicated ideas.
Down syndrome does not discriminate in the lives it touches, so all these issues are propelled into the non-partisan arena. People of all political persuasions are faced with these decisions every day, and as a group we aim to be neutral and non-partisan in our positions.
Thank you for your time,
The NWDSA Board of Directors.
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” – Albert Einstein
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