The RISE Awards, presented by Y Pierre Productions honored and celebrated the accomplishments of advocates with Down syndrome (Ds) and those who are making a difference in the Down syndrome community. RISE (Rising in Spirit of Expectations) was formally called HYH Rise Awards when it first launched in 2011. There were three RISE events – 2011 HYH Rise Online Awards, The 2014 RISE Awards (in Atlanta, GA), and The 2016 RISE Awards (online).
Less than 40 years ago, it was a common practice to institutionalize individuals with Down syndrome and various disabilities restricting their human rights to an education, resources, and therapies needed. Today, over 90% of abortions are due to the detection of Down syndrome. Over 50% of children put into the adoption system are children with disabilities.
Too often we hear about limitations and things that persons with Ds are incapable of, but some are musicians, actors, painters, dancers, advocates, teacher assistants, college students, entrepreneurs and graduates. But these are the stories that are not often seen or heard. RISE was a platform utilized to tell these stories in efforts to spread positive awareness.