Matthew MacNeil from Canada tells us about Project Understood, making life accessible for people with Down syndrome:

Speaker biography

With a loving spirit and contagious smile, Matthew is a champion for inclusion. As Chair of Voices at the Table for Advocacy group with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, he works to help others ‘See the Ability’ first, advocating for change in attitudes towards Down syndrome.

Matthew’s journey has been one of perseverance. He always finds a way to do what he sets out to do such as going to college, getting a job, living on his own, paying his own bills and travelling independently. 

Matthew presented at the United Nations in New York in 2017, and spoke about the changing attitudes in Canada about Down syndrome and the work being done to break barriers. That same year he was named Citizen of the Year in his hometown of Tillsonburg, Ontario. 

Matthew feels that there is nothing that he cannot do without the support of others and a keen desire to make it happen. He wants to encourage others to never give up on their dreams, by believing that change happens one step at a time. Matthew has been heavily involved in the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s Project Understood research project and campaign that you will hear about today.

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