A woman who has Down Syndrome is going viral on TikTok after she was filmed explaining things that she is not allowed to do because of her genetic disorder. The video was posted to the National Down Syndrome Society‘s official TikTok page.
The video was shared on August 7 and so far has over 3.1 million views. And it’s not surprising why this video has taken off, it’s extremely eye-opening learning about the things someone without a disability would take for granted while people with down syndrome are needlessly regulated.
Woman With Down Syndrome Explains Things in Life That Don’t Make Sense
As Charlotte Woodward explained in the video people with down syndrome are often paid sub-minimum wage when hired to do a job. They are also told that if they get married they will lose their healthcare or other support they may need.
And it only gets worse from there. “I can be denied an organ transplant just because someone thinks less of me,” Charlotte continued. “Tragedies like the death of Ethan Saylor, who died because most law enforcement officers aren’t trained to work with people with Down Syndrome or other disabilities.”
It’s like Charlotte said at the beginning of the video these are things that “just don’t make sense” and people in the comments section were also taken aback by what they learned thanks to this TikTok video.
“Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they aren’t ABLE!! Don’t Dis people’s Abilities!!! This is definitely something that needs [to be] changed,” one commenter wrote.
“This is amazing. You are worth as much (if not more) than all of us,” another added, while third shared, “Thank you so much for raising these points. I had actually no idea that this was a problem, and this is so problematic.”
Following the huge response, the National Down Syndrome Society responded to the many comments saying, “Thank you for your support! There’s a link in our bio that addresses some of these issues and you can contact your Member of Congress!”
In an interview with BuzzFeed, Charlotte, who is the Community Outreach Associate at the National Down Syndrome Society, revealed that she is also a straight-A student at George Mason University.
“I’m going for a degree in Sociology with a focus in social justice and inequality. My mom told me when I was born that doctors said I would never learn to read or write and that I would be placed in a separate workshop as I grew up. I have, however, proven those doctors wrong.”
And the video was not only deeply personal to her in that she has Down Syndrome but that she also defied the odds as a heart transplant recipient.
“I was born with not just Down syndrome, but also a heart condition. I’ve had four open-heart surgeries,” Charlotte told BuzzFeed. “I was a prime candidate for a heart transplant and I am so glad the doctors looked beyond my Down syndrome diagnosis because the problem is most transplant teams don’t do that. Most people with Down syndrome are denied getting transplants, and I am trying to change that.”
Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with us and our friend @zachv_pat and help us spread ##downsyndromeawareness ????♬ EXPERIENCE – Sean Redmond
Her work is already paying off. As BuzzFeed reports, Charlotte has gone in front of the Virginia State Legislature, “which successfully passed an organ transplant discrimination law where people with intellectual and physical disabilities cannot be denied an organ transplant.”
But the fight for equality has only just begun.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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