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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Indy's Child Update....

I received a personal call from the editor today, who apologized profusely, explaining that the are a pro-life magazine, that nothing like this has ever happened to them in their 20 year history and anything they could do would be done to help rectify this is any manner on behalf of those with children with Down syndrome, as well as to the families featured on the cover. I explained my stance on why this isn't a "pro-life" issue to me, and further explained how it was so difficult to fathom how noone put two and two together on this....or perhaps they did and that is why our kids were asked to be on the July cover. He went on to say that they have a "young cover designer" that didn't know the children had Ds. Perhaps so, but others at the mag did and he acknowledged the mistakes, and did say he proofed the article 4 times prior to leaving for Europe and never once associated it as anything negative about children with Down syndrome, or equated it with any "abortion" issues. I accepted his apology, thanked him for calling me, and also his offer to have a "standard" produced which will be a framed cover, without the caption, and a "plaque" on it for the parents of the children on the cover.

The "team" met with the editor and publisher just this afternoon, and it looks like some good will come out of this. They are going to publicize the October Down syndrome awareness month and Buddy Walk heavily, and welcome all our free lance writers to submit articles pertaining to their topics each month as they want to show all "abilities"....which is great.

New Cover

While some "positive" will come from this which will include good info. and publicity about the Buddy Walk and Ds awareness, it is unfortunate it happened. Thank you all for your involvement and letters. It takes a village.......

UPDATE - Apology posted in August Indy's Child:

August 01, 2006 - It was the good intentions of Indy's Child to donate the cover of our publication to Kelly's Upside Down Ball and the Indiana Down syndrome Foundation as a fundraiser for their many worthwhile endeavors.

The Indiana Down syndrome Foundation is a worthy organization and has a membership of 2,000 advocates. They had cause to e-mail their disappointment for our orientation of the July cover. The picture was excellent and showed the summer joys children with Down syndrome share with their family and friends. That was the message and feeling that Indy's Child intended to share with our readers but we inadvertently faltered. It was our maternity issue and there was a featured article on prenatal testing and the headline: "Understanding the Results is Key for Prenatal Screening Tests" was on the cover. Neither the author nor our paper meant to hurt the loving families of any children.

The response to the indiscretion was the largest in our history! Hundreds of e-mails and letters to the editor were immediately received. The families who are raising these special children were very hurt by the inference in the July article that early detection of birth disorders gives the mothers-to-be options. This was inadvertent and our author intended to suggest that it gives families time to understand and prepare for the care of children with disabilities. We never meant to hurt anyone who loves children and we want to reaffirm that Indy's Child mission is to serve all children in a positive way.

We met with the concerned families and representatives of the Indiana Down syndrome Foundation on July 12th to apologize and ask how we could work together in a positive way. They were enthusiastic about partnering with us and did accept our apology. The Foundation has a dedicated executive director, Cindy Busch. She wrote an excellent article for us this past March. She is caring and creative and has an active Board of Directors that helps the organization with at least six main activities each year.

The group of advocates meeting with us included the parents of all of the children on the cover. To each of them, we apologize and say once again, we did not intend to offend you or your families. We thank you for caring so much and look forward to helping you in all you endeavors to provide the best opportunities for your children.

Barbara Wynne is the founding publisher of Indy's Child Magazine.


mum2brady said...

Sounds like an interesting meeting Jan. Thanks for the update. I'm glad that some good will come out of it, and that hopefully attitudes will be changed and that there will be an increased awareness of Ds. I'm sorry that it came at Nash's and your expense though :( Sending more hugs, and wishing it could all be taken back.....

Tara Marie said...

Jan, I'm so happy to read this update. After I research the publication a bit, I knew they would make this right and that it was just pure 'ignorance' that allowed this to happen.

Wonderful on the buddy walk promotion and I'd love to get my hands on the editorial calander for article ideas to pitch.

I'm so sad that I will not be seeing you next week. I hope that someday soon we can get together again.

Peace and love, TM

Anonymous said...

How wonderful...I am glad the outcome is positive, but I still feel bad the experience occured.

I hope that something like this was a valuable lesson for them--so that nothing like this happens in the future.

Betsy said...

Well...I guess they fixed it as best they could. Am I the only one feeling somewhat melancholy over the outcome?

I'm not sure what I expected them to do, or how they could have done any better to fix it -- I guess I was hoping that today would come and go and "poof" it would have never really happened.

I guess that's the only way it would have felt triumphant.

Its just too bad that something like this happened as an oversight--it shows how much work lays ahead for us in advocating, and giving our children a real voice in the world.

It was, and still is, a beautiful picture of the kids. I don't know if you'll ever see it without thinking of this mess though.

I'm so sorry this happened to you guys -- kudos to you for standing up and letting it be an opportunity to educate someone.

((((big hugs))))


Mauzy said...

I know what you mean Betsy, and until we see those wonderful articles in Indy's Child, along with the editor's response next month, together with the fantastic support they say they will give for the Buddy Walk, I don't really feel great about this either..probably never will, but we hopefully have great positive things come from this.

Kris said...

I am so pleased that good has come from this. I am thrilled.