5 Celebrities with Down syndrome who are changing the world

Nancy O'Dell, Lauren Potter and Cindy Crawford at the De Re Gallery for the Best Buddies 'The Art of Friendship' Benefit Photo Auction.
Nancy O'Dell, Lauren Potter and Cindy Crawford at the De Re Gallery for the Best Buddies 'The Art of Friendship' Benefit Photo Auction.
Rochelle Brodin

Isabella Springmühl

Increíble! #isabellaspringmuhl @belitaspringmuhl #ModaIncluyente

A photo posted by ANN (@annettcastro) on

Early in 2016, Isabelle Springmühl made history as the first fashion designer with Down syndrome to be featured at London Fashion Week. Achieving her dreams didn't come easily, however. Because of her genetic condition, several universities rejected her applications to study fashion design.

But she didn't give up, and now the 19-year-old Guatemalan has showcased her work not only in London, but Rome and Mexico as well. Her Down to Xjabelle range is designed especially for the unique body shape of women with Down syndrome. 

Watch Isabella in action:

Jamie Brewer

Isabella is not the only women with Down syndrome to light up the fashion world. In 2015, actress Jamie Brewer became the first woman with this condition to model at New York Fashion Week.

As if her achievements as actress and model aren't inspiring enough, she has also been instrumental in persuading Texas lawmakers to abolish the word "retarded" from state law. She continues to advocate for the rights of people living with intellectual disabilities.

Find out more about Jamie's achievements:

Yet another young woman who has been making waves in fashion is Madeline Stuart, the world's first professional model with Down syndrome.

Lauren Potter

Glee fans know Lauren Potter as the sassy and snarky Becky Jackson. But apart from acting, the 26-year-old has also been a goodwill ambassador for the Special Olympic World Games, as well as an activist.

She advises the White House on issues affecting people with intellectual disabilities and she continues to speak out against bullying and the use of the "r-word"

Watch Lauren talk about her role as Becky:

Pablo Pineda

In the film Yo Tambien (Me Too), award-winning Spanish actor Pablo Pineda plays a young man with Down syndrome who falls in love with a neurotypical woman.

Just like his character, Pablo is also a university graduate. In fact, he was the first European with Down syndrome to obtain a degree: he holds a BA in Educational Psychology, as well as a teaching diploma. He regularly gives public talks on disabilities and education.

Watch Pablo talk about being a role model for people living with Down syndrome:

Angela Bachiller

Angela Bachiller has been the city councillor for Valladolid, in Spain, since 2013. She is the first person with Down syndrome to hold public office in Spain and works towards ensuring that people with intellectual disabilities have the same rights as their compatriots. In particular, she aims to change laws that take away people with disabilities' rights to vote.

Also read: National Down Syndrome Awareness Day 2016: The road to an inclusive tomorrow

Also read: Down Syndrome Awareness Day: how far we've come!

Also read: Down syndrome: avoiding the awkwardness

Do you have a Down syndrome story you'd like to share? Email chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your story.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24