6% by Graham Miller launches on #WDSAD2013


I have dropped tiny hints over the past weeks, unable to really say much while the project was under wraps, but too excited to keep it all in. Little flurries of anticipation kept escaping the bag in which they were contained. Finally I am allowed to tell you of an amazing project I have been asked to help launch.

Every once in a while you stumble on some work that really resonates with you, really inspires, something very different and unique in its essence. Such work was the black and white documentary photography by Graham Miller who I stumbled across on Twitter. He focusses solely on the lives of those who have disabilities and his work is fascinating, eye-opening, positive and true. It is full of emotion and life. I think you will be as captivated as I was by Photohonesty.



Graham's latest project is one which is very close to my heart for he has captured babies, children, young people and adults with Down's Syndrome on film. He has then matched their words, or those of their parents with the images, to astonishingly powerful effect.

I have been lucky enough to have see the book in its entirety. I knew it would be emotional, so I waited for a quiet moment when I could give it my full attention. That took nearly a week and I think Graham was wondering if indeed I was bothered about reviewing his project at all, but I'm glad I did it that way, for it stopped me in my tracks. I looked, took a breath, a tear, a quiet sob, and many smiles, for Graham has managed to encapsulate all the feelings I have as a parent of a little girl with Down's Syndrome.

There's worry, happiness, pride, a sense of having learnt so much on our journey, and also a sense of dispair and sadness at the cold hard fact that most of society just don't understand what having a child with Down's Syndrome means. Afraid, ignorant and fuelled by fear, 91% of parents expecting babies with Down's Syndrome opt for a termination. Other babies will not be strong enough to survive the pregnancy, and so, that leaves a haunting figure of around 6% who will make it into this world.


The data on outcome show that after the prenatal diagnosis of Downs Syndrome 91% of affected pregnancies are terminated and 9% are continued. Some of the continued pregnancies miscarry naturally, some end as still births, and approximately 6% of prenatal diagnosis are live births’.
Source: The National Down Cytogenetic Register for England and Wales: 2010 Annual Report

This became the title of Graham's book: 6%
Down Syndrome My photographs Their Stories

It will be launched on 21st of March 2013 to coincide with World Down's Syndrome Day and Downs Syndrome Scotland are backing the venture. I am bursting with pride to have been asked to speak at that event, in an art gallery in Edinburgh.

Please take a moment to have a look at the preview of the book on the Photohonesty website (Link below). You can pre-order copies there, or offer help with printing and distribution. I am certain this will become an essential book in many of our houses, equally inspiring for new parents and those of us who are a little further along the journey, as well as professionals and the public at large.

It certainly celebrates our wonderful children and what they bring to our families whilst acknowledging and validating the period of adjustment that many families go through initially.

There you will find a mini version with pages you can turn. 


11 comments:

  1. Where can I get one of these books? We are going to be adopting children with DS and would LOVE this. Thanks!

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    1. Oh what wonderful work you will be doing Alamama. I hope you find our blog useful and inspiring. To pre-order Graham's book you can click on the link to Photohonesty above. It is due in March 2013 on World DS Day x
      Al the very best in your ventures x

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  2. i wud be glad to read this also. sounds very interesting.

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  3. i will love to and gladly read this. sounds very interesting

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    1. You will not be disappointed. It's a very powerful book.

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  4. It's a very powerful book. Best regards from Prague!

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    1. it is indeed, it stopped me in my tracks.

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  5. I am very proud to be one of the families featured in this book with my husband Colin and our two gorgeous boys, Adam and Matthew. Graham has done an amazing job and we are very excited about the launch too - and hopefully meeting you, Hayley!

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    1. Katrina, honoured to meet you virtually. What an incredible project you have all been part of. Your boys are beautiful. I really hope we get to meet in March too. Much love x

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  6. Striking images, looks like quite a book.

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  7. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this exhibition at Summerhall, and to buying the book. Sounds terrific! I have two children, one with and one without Down's Syndrome. There's no doubt that they both have brought, and continue to bring, great joy into our family. My daughter is nearly 15 years old, attends local high school, has gone right through mainstream education, primary and now in secondary, is an active member of the Guides, swimming club, pop-dancing, sleep-overs, the lot! A busy, busy girl. Her brother is 10 years older, studying at University.
    You can read about our experience on my website, under the heading Down's Syndrome: www.gerdastevenson.co.uk

    All best -

    Gerda.

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