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Woman With Down Syndrome Exposes Discrimination In Shocking TikTok Video

by : Lucy Connolly on : 15 Aug 2020 15:00
woman with down syndrome lists discrimination she faces 1woman with down syndrome lists discrimination she faces 1ndssorg/TikTok

A woman with Down syndrome has highlighted the shocking discrimination she faces in the country she lives as a result of her condition.

In an eye-opening video shared on TikTok by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), the woman, Charlotte Woodward, makes a note of all the things that ‘don’t make sense’ with regards to the way she’s treated day-to-day.

The clip, which has been viewed millions of times since being posted one week ago, sees Charlotte listing all of the things that make living in the US difficult for her and others with Down syndrome.

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You can watch the video below:

The first thing she notes as being unfair is the fact she can get paid subminimum wage for any work she carries out, as individuals with a physical or mental disability earn rates below minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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This is apparently designed as such to ‘prevent the loss of employment opportunities for these individuals’, but it’s clear such clauses discriminate against hard-working individuals simply because of their disabilities.

The NDSS is working to pass bills to phase out the payment of subminimum wage at the state level, according to its website, but it still exists in most states – something many were outraged to find out via the TikTok video.

woman with down syndrome points out discrmination facedwoman with down syndrome points out discrmination facedndssorg/TikTok

Users were also heartbroken to find out that many people with Down syndrome can’t get married because it will affect their Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid healthcare coverage.

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‘I can’t get married or I’ll lose my healthcare and supports,’ Charlotte explained, adding: ‘I can be denied an organ transplant just because someone thinks less of me.’

According to the NDSS, people with physical and intellectual disabilities face discrimination on organ transplant lists, despite federal protection.

Woman with down syndrome highlists discriminationWoman with down syndrome highlists discriminationndssorg/TikTok

Charlotte also mentioned the day-to-day discrimination she and others with Down syndrome face, recalling the death of 26-year-old Robert ‘Ethan’ Saylor in 2013.

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Robert died of asphyxia when three off-duty police officers tried to forcibly remove him from a movie theatre, with Charlotte noting ‘tragedies’ such as this one occur because ‘most law enforcement officers aren’t trained to work with people with Down syndrome or other disabilities’.

The video has been viewed more than 2.8 million times on TikTok, with many thanking Charlotte and the NDSS for creating the educational clip.

woman highlights discrimination faced by people with down syndromewoman highlights discrimination faced by people with down syndromendssorg/TikTok

Speaking to BuzzFeed, Charlotte said she is ‘trying to change’ the way things work.

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In fact, she’s already told her story 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.

What an inspirational woman.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, America, discrimination, Down Syndrome, National Down Syndrome Society, Now, TikTok, US, Viral

Credits

National Down Syndrome Society/TikTok and 4 others
  1. National Down Syndrome Society/TikTok

    @ndssorg

  2. US Department of Labor

    Subminimum Wage

  3. National Down Syndrome Society

    Subminimum Wage

  4. National Down Syndrome Society

    Nondiscrimination in Organ Transplantation Laws & Toolkit

  5. BuzzFeed

    This Woman With Down Syndrome Went Viral For Explaining Things About Her Life That Don't Make Sense