Shifting Perspectives: changing attitudes to Downs Syndrome

Back in 2005 we were contacted by Richard Bailey, a photographer and father of a girl with Down Syndrome. We first met Richard when we had taken our son to attend a week long speech therapy course run by Symbol UK. He was putting together a calender, for the Down Syndrome Association which would consit of 365 photos of children with Down Syndrome – the idea being to show the diversity of these children and help shift societies perspectives.

Out of this begining Richard has gathered together a group of photographers under the banner of ‘Shifting Perspectives’, the commonality being that all have children (or a relative/sibling) with Down’s syndrome. With support from the Down’s Syndrome
Association their work has evolved and grown to form a substantial piece of work. In 2005 the Down’s Syndrome Association (UK) exhibited ‘Shifting Perspectives’ work at the OXO Tower for the start of Down’s syndrome awareness week. ‘Shifting Perspectives’ has now found a home in supporting the DSA with challenging and changing the perspectives that are currently held in society.

Richard has set up a website with an e-commerce facility in order to sell the calenders and other works generated by the ‘Shifting
Perspectives’ group on behalf of the DSA. Details and images from all the calendars produced can be seen and you can read the reasons why the series of calendars was started and also view images from the various exhibitions the ‘Shifting Perspectives’ group have had.

As Richard so eloquently puts it “All the imagery though, is making a point and asking questions not only of the photographer but more importantly of the viewer. For instance, Fiona Field’s images of a young lady with Down’s syndrome who is getting married, apart from being quite beautiful, are showing the public that people with Down’s syndrome can fall in love and can get married.”

Check it out – it’s inspirational.

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