FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2014
(LAREDO) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, a champion for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is on the cover of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT) 2014 Share the Passion calendar, which highlights children with Down syndrome sharing their passions with musicians, athletes, businesspersons and state and local leaders.
Also featured for August, Senator Zaffirini is joined by Ocean Pierce-Shimomura, 11, in a series of photographs taken when she hosted him at the Texas Senate.
"This calendar is so exceptional because it highlights the diversity, talents and passions of persons with Down syndrome," Senator Zaffirini said. "I am grateful to the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas for inviting me to participate in a project as inspiring as it is educational."
The calendar includes facts about Down syndrome, opportunities for life-enriching activities, resources for parents of children with Down syndrome and information regarding respectful, person-first language.
Senator Zaffirini long has advocated for legislation and funding that help persons with disabilities live happy, healthy, productive lives in their communities. Bills she has authored or sponsored include measures enhancing transitional living assistance for children with disabilities, protecting the rights of those living in state institutions and requiring state agencies to use person-first respectful language. She has received the Public Servant of the Year Award from the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities and the Leadership Award from The Arc of Texas.
Copies of the calendar may be obtained via DSACT's website, www.dsact.com.
OCEAN PIERCE-SHIMOMURA, 11, shares his passion for The University of Texas at Austin and all things Texan with Senator Judith Zaffirini in the Texas Senate. The series of photographs comprises the cover of the 2014 Share the Passion calendar produced by the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT). A member of the Senate Finance, Health and Human Services and Higher Education committees, Senator Zaffirini prioritizes working with organizations such as DSACT to improve quality of life and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities.