Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker to Partner with National Down Syndrome Society and Institute for Community Inclusion (MA UCEDD/LEND) on "My Great Story" Video Project

February 27, 2013

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at UMass Boston are collaborating with Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, to create a series of videos to accompany the NDSS My Great Story public awareness campaign. The My Great Story campaign seeks to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by collecting and showcasing inspirational stories told by people with Down syndrome as well as their family members, friends, colleagues, employers, and many others. The stories are housed in a unique virtual storybook. The videos of a selection of these remarkable stories will be shared with the general public both online and on broadcast television. 

Melanie Perkins McLaughlin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the mother of three children. For the past 20 years Melanie has worked on films for HBO, PBS, ABC and A&E. In 2007 Melanie's film, "Have You Seen Andy?" the personal story of the search for answers to the disappearance of her childhood friend, was broadcast on Cinemax / HBO and won the National Emmy Award for Best Investigative Journalism. At the same time, Melanie received a prenatal diagnosis: Grace, her third child, had Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Melanie and Grace's story has been featured in TIME magazine and on ABC and CBS. Melanie is the inaugural Allen C. Crocker Family Fellow with the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston.

The My Great Story Video Project is made possible by the Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship with the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston. The Fellowship allows a family member of an individual with a developmental disability to work on a project of their choosing while developing leadership skills under the guidance of MA Developmental Disabilities Network staff.

About NDSS

The National Down Syndrome Society is a nonprofit organization representing the more than 400,000 Americans with Down syndrome. The mission of NDSS is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming community. NDSS has over 350 affiliates nationwide.

To learn more visit www.ndss.org. To learn more about the NDSS My Great Story public awareness campaign, visit www.ndss.org/stories.

About ICI

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) offers training, clinical, and employment services, conducts research, and provides assistance to organizations to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in school, work, and community activities. ICI is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities based at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Children's Hospital Boston. http://www.communityinclusion.org