A Canadian organization is seeking to put people with Down syndrome on the endangered species list

An application drafted by an environmental lawyer will be presented at the UN next year seeks to secure funding and support for declining population

Published On
Nov 05, 2018

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In some countries, the number of babies born with Down syndrome each year is approaching zero. As the size of the community dwindles, so does its voice and its ability to secure funding and support for education, housing and jobs.

So who better to protect an endangered person than the same people who protect endangered species? The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has applied to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (the Canadian organization that manages the country’s list of threatened species) to place people with Down syndrome on the list. Ostensibly, that would make them eligible for not only the same protections but also the awareness campaigns and investment of tax dollars that endangered species receive.

The spots from FCB Canada feature people with Down syndrome dressed in colorful paper costumes of endangered animals—a polar bear, lion, panda and rhino, and a 6-month-old baby in sea turtle garb.

The campaign also includes interviews with parents of children with Down syndrome and interviews with experts in the field. Posters, billboards and digital pre-roll videos direct viewers to EndangeredSyndrome.com, where supporters can sign an online petition. An environmental lawyer is also drafting a letter of application to the IUCN, which will be presented to the United Nations on World Down syndrome Day next March, in an effort to raise awareness about funding issues.

Previously, FCB Canada created the award-winning “Down Syndrome Answers” campaign for CDSS, which presented people with Down syndrome answering frequently asked questions in Google search results. It was followed by “Anything But Sorry,” which redefined the “worst” word to say to someone with a child with Down syndrome.


Nov 05, 2018
Client :
Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Agency :
Chair :
Laura LaChance
Vice Chair :
Ed Casagrande
Governance Committee :
Stewart Moffatt
Marketing & Communications Manager :
Kristen Halpern
Board Member :
Ben Tarr
Chief Creative Officer :
Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
Chief Creative Officer :
Jeff Hilts
Group Creative Director :
Andrew MacPhee
Senior Art Director :
Michael Morelli
Senior Copywriter :
Marty Hoefkes
Art Director :
Cody Sabatine
Copywriter :
Joseph Vernuccio
VP, Managing Director :
Tracy Little
VP, Managing Director :
Tim Welsh
Group Account Director :
Ravi Singh
Account Supervisor :
Olivia Selbie
Account Executive :
Alex Kreinces
Agency Producer :
Katherine Forester
Director of Project Management :
Shandi Horovitch
Project Manager :
Elizabeth Lane
Chief Strategy Officer :
Shelley Brown
Planning Director :
Eryn LeMesurier
Research :
Paul Gareau
Research :
Kantar Millward Brown
PR :
Lawyer :
Adam Chamberlain
Law :
Environmental Law
Articling Student :
Chris Hummel
Production Company :
Director :
Scott Drucker
Producer :
Katherine Forester
Line Producer :
Sarah Kravetz
Director of Photography :
Scott Drucker
Director of Photography :
Chet Tilokani
Camera Operator :
Scott Drucker
Camera Operator :
Chet Tilokani
Editing House :
Saints Editorial
Editor :
Michael Ofori-Attah
Editor :
Jason Grebski
Transfer Facility :
The Vanity
Colorist :
Andrew Exworth
Online Facility :
The Vanity
Music House :
Silent Joe
Music Track Director :
Jody Colero
Engineer :
John Hurlbut
Composer :
Benjamin Pinkerton
Animation :
Michael Medeiros
Costume Design :
Lea Krpan
Costume Design :
Nikola Milic
Website Design :
Happiness Saigon
Media Agency :
UM Canada

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