Twins Inspire National Down syndrome Awareness Month

SUNRISE, FL – (October 21, 2016) – During Down syndrome Awareness Month, ARC Broward celebrates the abilities of those with Down syndrome through spreading awareness, and promoting advocacy and inclusion throughout the community.  By celebrating abilities, we foster inclusion, understanding, and opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome.

Throughout this month, we ask that you join us in this opportunity to make others aware of the wonderful abilities those with Down syndrome have and the amazing accomplishments they achieve.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society Website (, there are approximately 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States. And, millions of people are impacted by it, including families, educators, employers, healthcare professionals, peers and others. Also, one in every 691 babies are born with Down syndrome.

ARC Broward’s mission is to transform the community by providing opportunities for people with disabilities and other life challenges to realize their full potential, including those with Down syndrome and their loved ones. The nonprofit organization provides services to several infants, youth, and adults with Down syndrome.

“People with Down syndrome possess a wide range of abilities and are active participants in educational, employment, social and recreational circles of our communities,” said Dennis Haas, ARC Broward President/CEO. “It is their right to achieve the universally desired goals of self-fulfillment, pride in their achievements and inclusion in their communities so that they may reach their fullest potential.”

ARC Broward supports identical twins with Down syndrome who continue to thrive thanks to its programs. Pedro and Miguel were born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to South Florida when they were seven. “As the boys entered adulthood, we determined it was time for them to live on their own and gain more independence,” said their mother Lillian Fonseca. “It is a blessing for them to be part of their community thanks to ARC Broward.”

The twins are supported by dedicated Direct Support Professionals who assist them and their housemates to be active participants in their homes and communities.  “It is our goal to create life-changing outcomes so that Pedro, Miguel and others can live, learn, work and play in their communities,” Dennis added.


Since 1956, ARC Broward has worked hand-in-hand with the community to provide the encouragement and opportunities that create life-changing outcomes so that people with disabilities and other life challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities.

The not-for-profit organization operates three “mission-based” enterprises that provide training and employment opportunities for individuals served while generating revenue to help fund services. These include the ARC Broward Learning Institute, ARC Broward Culinary Institute and ARC Broward IT Asset Recovery. ARC Broward also provides services through 21 programs in nine locations across Broward County. To learn more or to donate, visit ( or call (954) 746-9400. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Photo Captions:

Jessica and Carlos, two of ARC Broward’s School of HIRE Education students, hold a banner to support National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Both are now learning career/workforce education and independent living skills through the organization’s School of HIRE Education program.

Three of ARC Broward’s preschool girls with Down syndrome enjoy the main campus playground in Sunrise, as well as early education and therapy services available to toddlers and young students, ages 18 months through 5 years.

Pedro and Miguel growing up (left) and today.