Atlanta, GA, August 25, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Canister (canisterco.com), an Atlanta creative firm, coordinated the translation "Babies with Down Syndrome" into Russian by collaborating with Woodbine House Publishing (woodbinehouse.com), Downside Up (downsideup.org), and several US Down syndrome organizations.
The project was initiated by Canister's Stephanie Meredith nearly eight years ago when her son, Andy, was born with Down syndrome. Meredith was motivated by an article about a visit from the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation to Downside Up, a UK charitable organization serving children with Down syndrome in Russia. The article reported that up to 90% of parents followed the advice of most doctors and placed their babies with Down syndrome in institutions, and 50% of those children died within the first year. The parents who chose to raise their children expressed that they often faced discrimination and stigma.
Meredith contacted Downside Up to find out how Canister could help counter institutionalization and outdated perceptions by giving Russian physicians more accurate information about Down syndrome, and Downside Up said that they would most benefit from obtaining a Russian translation of the Woodbine House title "Babies with Down Syndrome." Meredith detailed a plan to make this happen by managing the process from the conception to the delivery of funds.
In 2003, Meredith contacted Woodbine House, and the publisher graciously approved a Russian copyright release for Downside Up at no charge. After several years of applying for grants without success, Meredith turned to friends and family for donations to cover the costs of translation and printing. These relationships provided the entirety of the funds, capped by a very generous donation by the parents of one of Andy's close friends.
After the funds were committed, the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) kindly handled the financial transfer by accepting the donations and relaying them to Downside Up. Woodbine House proceeded to generously update the Russian copyright for the new version of "Babies with Down Syndrome" and authorized an increase in the number of approved copies. Once the translation and printing are completed in Russia, Downside Up will be able to distribute 1500 copies of Babies with Down Syndrome to new parents and physicians in Moscow.
This project was featured in detail in the NDSC newsletter for June/July 2008 (Vol 31 #3), and also referenced in the NDSC 2008 Annual Report released in July. The National Down Syndrome Society; Amy Allison at the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City; Erik Premont; Fran Marinnacio at Woodbine House; Karen Hahne from Kids on the Move; the Meredith, Ward, and Grisham families; and numerous volunteers contributed to the completion of this project in addition to those already mentioned.
Canister continues to seek opportunities to serve the disability community through ongoing initiatives to provide new and accurate information for parents and medical professionals, including prenatal education in the US.