For two long years, Patti Saylor has advocated for change after the death of her precious Ethan. It has meant long hours, countless miles of travel and hours in meetings. The emotional toll of reliving that terrible evening over and over as she raises awareness and tries to ensure that something like this never happens again is unfathomable.
The Definition of Strength
Dedicated Advocacy Garners Results
- Emma Saylor creates an online petition
- Jon Perri and his team at Change.org help spread the word
- Over 375,000 people join the fight for #JusticeForEthan
- Saylor family & supporters deliver petitions to Governor O’Malley
- Debra Alfarone (WUSA9) , Katie Kyros (WHAG), Theresa Vargas (Washington Post), and Danielle Gaines (Frederick News Post) become our champions in the media
- Tim Shriver heads the Maryland Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, formed by Gov. O’Malley in response to Ethan’s death
- National Down syndrome groups recognize and honor Patti’s advocacy and assist her with her efforts
- Law enforcement communities across the country recognize the need for additional training Justice Department - Maryland Unanimously Adopts Comprehensive Training Program for Police / Arapahoe County [Centennial, CO ] launches Down syndrome training
All Leading Up to a Very Big Week
First, Governor Hogan signed SB853 creating the first of its kind effort to train people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be active members of law enforcement training teams.
Yesterday, we got word that the Justice Department used the settlement agreement of an unrelated case to implement mandatory law enforcement training on interacting with persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Ethan’s story is the cautionary tale used in the training developed by Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Finally, starting tomorrow, awareness comes to the big screen.
Also, Edward Rhodes has finished filming on “Ethan’s Law,” and a special director’s cut preview will be shown at the Canadian Down Syndrome Conference this weekend. The preview is just the beginning of the process of bringing Ethan’s story to wider audience with this powerful film.