Proclamation 5888 -- National Down Syndrome Month, 1988


October 24, 1988


By the President of the United States of America


A Proclamation


During National Down Syndrome Month, 1988, we can all grow in awareness of the nature of Down Syndrome; of the needs, rights, and abilities of persons affected by it; and of continuing progress in our understanding of this developmental disability and our responsibilities, as individuals and communities, toward those involved and their families.


Today, fortunately, we are making many options available for people with Down Syndrome, such as early intervention, mainstreaming, recreation, socialization, respite services, employment, and independent living programs. These welcome developments are in the finest traditions of American life and of our long-standing willingness to offer acceptance, help, and hope to our neighbors in time of need.


Private and public research continues in areas such as finding the cause of the extra chromosome 21 in people with Down Syndrome; mapping this chromosome's genes; understanding the relationship between Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's disease; and using computers to facilitate language and speech. Private groups such as the National Down Syndrome Congress and the National Down Syndrome Society, and public units such as the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Public Health Service's Division of Maternal and Child Health, and the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, foster these and other activities for the benefit of persons affected by Down Syndrome and for the good of Americans yet unborn.


As we salute past and present accomplishments, we realize that many important needs still remain -- and that we can solve them better the more we keep in mind the innate rights and human dignity Down Syndrome individuals share with their fellow Americans.


The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 302, has designated the month of October 1988 as ``National Down Syndrome Month'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this month.


Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the month of October 1988 as National Down Syndrome Month. I invite all concerned citizens, agencies, and organizations to unite during October with appropriate observances and activities directed toward helping affected individuals and their families enjoy to the fullest the blessings of life.


In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirteenth.


Ronald Reagan


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:11 a.m., October 26, 1988]