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As our community continues to educate itself about Diversity & Inclusion, we want to be sure that inclusion includes ALL.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month and we want to use this time to share with our community what true inclusion looks like for those with Down Syndrome, as well as others who may have physical or intellectual disabilities. We want to Paint the Town with Kindness and make it more accessible for ALL.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is when the needs of all are considered. Busnesses, parks, p[roducts & services are built or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities.

Here are a few examples of accessibility:

  • Parking spaces are close to entrances
  • Floor spaces and hallways are free of equipment and other barriers
  • Staff and healthcare professionals can use sign language or have access to someone who can use sign language

How can I make my space more accessible to all?

Wherever you are, stop and look around… is this space accessible to ALL? How can you make a change so that it is more accessible?

Learn how to be more accessible –

How can I get involved with DSL’s Paint the Town with Kindness Movement?

Help us to share the gift of access by Painting the Town with Kindness this October. Order your Window Painting Kit (add link here) that includes this window decal to proudly display at your home or business. Use the paint to decorate around decal to show your support. Be sure to take a photo and post to social media with the hashtag #paintthetownkind

What else can I do to be Kind?

Use First Person Language

Disability is part of the human experience, but sometimes people use words or phrases that are insensitive and do not promote understanding, dignity, and respect for people with disabilities. More often than not, this is not intentional but can be hurtful just the same. Learn how to communicate with and about people with disabilities using people-first language and other helpful tips.

TipsUseDo not use
Emphasize abilities, not limitationsPerson who uses a wheelchairConfined or restricted to a wheelchair, wheelchair bound
Person who uses a device to speakCan’t talk, mute
Do not use language that suggests the lack of somethingPerson with a disabilityDisabled, handicapped
Person of short statureMidget
Person with Down syndromeDowns Kid, or Down Syndrome person
Person with epilepsy or seizure disorderEpileptic
Person with multiple sclerosisAfflicted by multiple sclerosis
Emphasize the need for accessibility, not the disabilityAccessible parking or bathroomHandicapped parking or bathroom
Do not use offensive languagePerson with a physical disabilityCrippled, lame, deformed, invalid, spastic
Person with an intellectual, cognitive, developmental disabilitySlow, simple, moronic, defective, afflicted, special person
Person with and emotional or behavioral disability, a mental health impairment, or a psychiatric disabilityInsane, crazy, psycho, maniac, nuts
Avoid language that implies negative stereotypesPerson without a disabilityNormal person, healthy person
Do not portray people with disabilities as inspirational only because of their disabilityPerson who is successful, productiveHas overcome his/her disability, is courageous
Source: Communicating With and About People with Disabilities Fact Sheet

Learn more about Down Syndrome of Louisville and its over 50 programs and services in the community at

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