University of Queensland hires assistants living with Down syndrome for Gen Z study

In an Australian first, four research assistants with Down syndrome are gathering data on how young adults living with the disability are faring across the country.

The project, Adulthood for Gen Zs with Down Syndrome, is run by the University of Queensland’s Down Syndrome Research Program (DSRP).

Its director, associate professor Rhonda Faragher, is supervising Rebecca Flanagan, Alana Pettigrew, Mia Johnston and Michael Cox as part of the study.

For 40 years, the DSRP has tracked all babies born with Down syndrome in the greater Brisbane region.

The globally recognised program started in 1978, during a decade when the routine institutionalisation of Down syndrome babies was discontinued.

The study has tracked the first generation of people with Down syndrome to be cared for by their families, educated at school and who now live in the adult community.

Dr Faragher said she was “intrigued with Gen Z”.

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