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More Alike than Different
March 5, 2010 5:52 PM   Subscribe

More Alike than Different the National Down Syndrome Congress has been running a campaign for Down syndrome awareness. As part of the campaign, they invited families to create their own own posters. Some are simple. Some are heartwarming. Some are fun. You too can vote for your favorite.
posted by plinth (33 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
These posters are awesome! Thanks so much for this. I love the Indiana Danny, what a cool kid.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 5:57 PM on March 5, 2010


This is a great campaign idea and frames the issue in a very positive and easy-to-understand way. I hope these posters end up in schools.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:07 PM on March 5, 2010


Really fun campaign, but if I never see another logo with the pictogram of person-as-star-shaped-brushstroke thing it will be too god damn soon.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:25 PM on March 5, 2010


I bet the National Down Syndrome Congress would pass the health care bill quickly and efficiently.
posted by longsleeves at 6:51 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I really get the, "Who is a better ______, me or you?" slogan. To me, this seems to be highlighting some difference between people with Down Syndrome and others, rather than showing that they aren't so different. Perhaps if it was phrased more like, "I'm good at ______, just like you," it would seem more inclusive to me. The way it's phrased seems kind of competitive (not that people with Down Syndrome aren't able to compete with others in just about any area).

That said, I like the More Alike than Different campaign. It's great to see an ad campaign that focuses on how people with Down Syndrome are like others, rather than how they are different.
posted by lexicakes at 6:54 PM on March 5, 2010


I love the sentiment here, have several relatives with DS and these are great and necessary posters.

But honestly, am I the only one who looked at the name of this campaign and thought about how we share like 9x% of our DNA with mice? C'mon people, don't let me down here please.
posted by nevercalm at 6:56 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lexicakes, that was my initial reaction, too, before I realized that was the point of the campaign. It challenges the assumption that people without Down Syndrome are automatically "better" at something than someone with it. So, who's better at _____? It doesn't matter, because "we're more alike than different."
posted by missmary6 at 7:00 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude, I just love Clarendon.
So i'm in.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 7:08 PM on March 5, 2010


The older woman with the huge pumped lips has to be removed from the video. Otherwise, I think it's about time.
posted by Splunge at 9:02 PM on March 5, 2010


"We're more alike than different" is a lesson that I need to apply to everyone everyday. This is great.
posted by Edward L at 9:10 PM on March 5, 2010


It says I've already taken the survey but I haven't, I swear...
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:47 AM on March 6, 2010


I loved supermarket girl in the video. And I think the posters are great. I picture some of the kids looking at the page and getting a big kick out of seeing their poster there.

The older woman with the huge pumped lips has to be removed from the video.

That's what you have to say about this video? Everybody in the video looked fine to me.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:49 AM on March 6, 2010


But honestly, am I the only one who looked at the name of this campaign and thought about how we share like 9x% of our DNA with mice?

True, but we also share 99.X% of our elements in common with slime molds and 99.9999999999X% of our sub atomic particles in common with rock salt.
posted by straight at 9:24 AM on March 6, 2010


Great video of older people with Down Syndrome.

Kids are easy to love, no matter what, But it is harder for people to imagine what happens to kids with Down Syndrome when they grow up. So this is fabulous.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:38 AM on March 6, 2010


corpse, do you use Constant Contact? It looks like the survey is run through CC. I took a customer service survey with them yesterday and am now getting the same error message you are saying I've already taken the poster survey, so maybe it's some kind of glitchy cookie nonsense.

These are completely charming--thanks, plinth.
posted by hippugeek at 9:55 AM on March 7, 2010


Chock full'o broken links.
posted by fixedgear at 7:25 AM on March 14, 2010


Chock full'o broken links.

Sadly, due to a case of this is why we can't have nice things
posted by availablelight at 7:46 AM on March 14, 2010


Some quick Googling reveals that it was a Something Awful thread, and that the thread with the pictures was removed two days ago. So I'm guessing things will be restored shortly.
posted by dgaicun at 9:10 AM on March 14, 2010


I received the following two notes from the NDSC:
Dear NDSC Members and Friends,

It is my unfortunate responsibility to advise you that the NDSC More Alike poster gallery has been raided by people who have been modifying the posters in an unsavory manner and reposting them on an internet blog.

The NDSC has requested that the site operator take the offensive material off line, but we cannot say at this time whether they will comply. We are investigating legal options and will continue to monitor the situation.

Unfortunately, there is no technical way to prevent this sort of image theft other than to not post it in the first place. That, of course, is exactly opposite of what we try to accomplish with our information and advocacy site. Nonetheless, we have taken down the poster gallery until this situation can be resolved. Once that occurs we will notify you.
We are angered by this unwarranted attack and will work to eliminate the offensive postings.

Sincerely,

David Tolleson
Executive Director
National Down Syndrome Congress
and then a few days later
Good evening,

I wanted to update you on the situation regarding some of our "We're More Alike" posters being "hijacked".

We have been greatly heartened by the sympathetic, affirming support for the NDSC during this stressful time and appreciate the offers of help and solidarity from across the country.

As noted in our previous message, we took down the gallery yesterday upon learning of this situation. We have heard from many of you who have encouraged us to leave the gallery up - to not back down in the face of bullying. We understand and appreciate your viewpoint. The world is full of mean people and we shouldn't let them dictate what we do. When you let bullies win, they only become emboldened.

However, many others have found comfort in knowing that the gallery is no longer accessible to such cruel people. As the situation is still very fresh, we believe that it's best for the gallery to remain inaccessible to the public for now.

As noted previously, we have contacted the site administrator demanding that the offending materials be taken down. We have not received a response as of this writing. However, we have received preliminary indications that the thread in question may have been taken down. We are continuing to investigate.

We have received confirmation from an advertiser that they have contacted Google to demand that their ads not be allowed to appear in connection with the site.

Additionally, we are grateful to have received offers from law firms nationwide ready to commit resources and expertise as we deal with this issue. With that, we have assembled a powerful legal team which is exploring all possible legal avenues, both civil and criminal. We are also trying to identify those responsible for these offensive postings.

Please accept our thanks for your support in a difficult situation. We share your sadness that ignorance and cruelty remain in society, but confirm our resolve to continue working with you towards positive change in our world.

Sincerely,

David Tolleson
Executive Director
National Down Syndrome Congress
I am cynical and experienced enough that I am not surprised that someone decided to deface the campaign this way, although being part of the community it does hurt. I am, however, very happy to hear that members of the community are offering their help to put this matter to an end.
posted by plinth at 9:35 AM on March 14, 2010


We've a local billboard that shows a doe-eyed Down's child and the text "Down's Syndrome does not discriminate. DO YOU?"

Well, yah, I do discriminate. Discrimination isn't always a bad thing. Even when interacting with DS children. For instance, I am terribly discriminatory when it comes to choosing a brain surgeon. The sign is, IMO, probably causing more harm than good.

Likewise, Tolleson made a very unwise decision in starting this campaign. And he is making a terrible mistake in thinking that lawsuits are an appropriate and positive solution to the offensive posters.

I do not understand why they need to be so ham-handed. Getting medical, social, and education professionals to use modern medical terminology should be the first step; and integrating all children¹ into the classroom should be the second step. Work on getting children to become accepting and kind, and many of the problems will be gone in a generation or two.

¹With the exception of those who are a safety threat.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:23 AM on March 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't find the SA thread. Was it taken down?
posted by ODiV at 3:10 PM on March 14, 2010


It is never ever an unwise decision to present people as human beings rather than the other. Mocking someone for daring to show their face and claim their status as ordinary disgusting, barbaric and should be met with public condemnation.
posted by humanfont at 7:00 PM on March 15, 2010


I agree.

My beef is with the advertising I encountered is the insinuation that discrimination is a necessarily bad thing. It helps me pick the good mushrooms out of the bad ones. Without discrimination, none of us would survive childhood. Do YOU Discriminate? is not a good campaign slogan for that reason.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:31 PM on March 15, 2010


The SA thread was deleted. Here's an example of what was posted there.
posted by shii at 1:06 AM on March 16, 2010


My beef is with the advertising I encountered is the insinuation that discrimination is a necessarily bad thing. It helps me pick the good mushrooms out of the bad ones. Without discrimination, none of us would survive childhood. Do YOU Discriminate? is not a good campaign slogan for that reason.

five fresh fish, I think your pedantry is misplaced. The word "discrimination" has more than one meaning, and it's pretty clear from the context that the posters are using the sociological term.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:45 AM on March 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tend to agree discrimination is a word of highly variable meanings and most people use it in a pejorative sense. I would suggest that the affirmative alternative of do you evaluate or selective is probably more appropriate. For example when selecting between physicians one should evaluate your choices based on the standard of care and be selective rather than discriminatory. Discriminatory implies some pejorative evaluation based on racial, genetic or other factors not necessarily based on an objective measure of skills, ability and standards.
posted by humanfont at 8:48 AM on March 16, 2010


Of course it's pedantry. Regardless, it was a poorly-conceived campaign.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on March 16, 2010


five fresh fish, I'm having trouble believing you misunderstood the sense in which that billboard was using the word discriminiate.

Purposely misunderstanding someone and then taking offense because you are pretending they meant something they clearly did not is one of the most pathetic forms of outrage in existence, one that I typically associate with someone like Glen Beck, not someone I'm usually more likely to favorite than argue with.
posted by straight at 1:46 PM on March 16, 2010


I understand perfectly how they meant it. The problem is that my gut-level reaction to it is that which I have described, each and every time I see the sign.

I am not purposefully misunderstanding the sign: I am reacting to poorly-implemented emotional manipulation, in which the non-sociological definition of "discriminate" is used to describe Tri-21, and the sociological definition is then used to address me.

The problem is compounded because discrimination is something everyone does all the time — a necessary life skill! — and the message directly equates the reader with being on the level of a chromosome or virus or other non-sentient thing.

I really doubt it's worth discussing this much further. The sign is what the sign is, my reaction is what it is, and probably nothing will change for any of us, because this sort of approach to dealing with discrimination is ineffective. Billboards do not make society change for the better.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on March 16, 2010


I am not purposefully misunderstanding the sign: I am reacting to poorly-implemented emotional manipulation, in which the non-sociological definition of "discriminate" is used to describe Tri-21, and the sociological definition is then used to address me.

But that is a misunderstanding. They're using the word the same way (what you call the sociological sense) in both cases. They're saying Tri-21 (of course, not being sentient) doesn't choose to strike certain families based on the way they look. It could happen to anyone. This is an illustration how there are many things that all human beings have in common. Therefore, we should also not choose to hurt people based on the way they look. Treat each other equally in the same way that life treats everyone equally (e.g. everyone dies, everyone feels pain, etc.)

Billboards do not make society change for the better.

Not by themselves, but I think these kinds of messages are a part of the process that can marginalize certain views. We still have racism, but it's in many ways an embarrassed, defensive racism. I hope prejudice against people with Down Syndrome can also be shamed and marginalized.
posted by straight at 1:03 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatevs. My gut reaction to the question "Do you discriminate?" is always going to be "yes," because that is the truth. It's what keeps us from drinking bleach.

Heck, my honest answer to the question "Do you discriminate against people?" is always going to be "yes." I don't date Hell's Angels. I don't trust Homoeopaths. I avoid eye contact with people in police uniforms. If discrimination makes me a bad man, then so be it; I think it is necessary.

I shall continue to assert that it was a poorly-conceived campaign, and we shall have to just agree to disagree.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:55 PM on March 17, 2010


My gut reaction to the question "Do you discriminate?" is always going to be "yes," because that is the truth.

Okay, but just be aware that all you're doing here is being the guy who, when someone says "I feel nauseous," replies "Who are you nauseating? You're not making me feel nauseated." Which is to say, you're clinging tightly to your preferred definition of "discriminate" even when people are obviously using one of the other standard English definitions of the word.
posted by straight at 8:16 AM on March 19, 2010


Sweet jesus, do you not understand what "gut reaction" means?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:08 AM on March 19, 2010


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