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Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker to Partner with National Down Syndrome Society and the ICI on "My Great Story" Video Project

Originally published: 3/2013

March 13, 2013: The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at UMass Boston are collaborating with Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, to create a series of videos to accompany the NDSS My Great Story public awareness campaign. The My Great Story campaign seeks to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by collecting and showcasing inspirational stories told by people with Down syndrome as well as their family members, friends, colleagues, employers, and many others. The stories are housed in a unique virtual storybook. For the first time, several videos of these remarkable stories will be shared with the general public.

Melanie Perkins McLaughlin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and the mother of three children. For the past 20 years Melanie has worked on films for HBO, PBS, ABC and A&E. In 2007 Melanie's film, "Have You Seen Andy?" the personal story of the search for answers to the disappearance of her childhood friend, was broadcast on HBO and won the National Emmy Award for Best Investigative Journalism. At the same time, Melanie received a prenatal diagnosis: Grace, her third child, had Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Today, Melanie is a public speaker at conferences and as an advocate for individuals with disabilities. She has been featured on NPR, the BBC, CBS News and ABC PrimeTime. She and Grace have been featured in TIME and USA Today and on ABC and CBS. Melanie is the inaugural Allen C. Crocker Family Fellow with the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston.

The My Great Story Video Project is made possible by the Allen C. Crocker Family Fellowship with the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston. The Fellowship allows a family member of an individual with a developmental disability to work on a project of their choosing while developing leadership skills under the guidance of MA Developmental Disabilities Network staff.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities