Tara Hart wishes more people understood that her 5-year-old daughter, Noelle, is just like every other child — and more than her Down syndrome.
“She’s perfect because of her Down syndrome, not in spite of it,” Hart told Insider.
Noelle is one of 51 individuals to be featured in a photo series called “More to Me,” which aims to shatter some common stereotypes of adults and children with Down syndrome. Hart is the co-chair of the Waterloo Regional Down Syndrome Society, an organization in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, that publishes the annual photo series and calendar.
“Some of the biggest misconceptions are that individuals with Down syndrome can’t actively contribute to society, that their lives are somehow valued less, and that they’re happy all the time,” Hart said.
Behind the lens was Hilary Gauld-Camilleri, who’s captured photos for the campaign since it began five years ago.
Gauld-Camilleri told Insider that her goal with the theme “More to Me” was to capture the personalities of children and adults with Down syndrome, as well as to illuminate the experiences of their family members.
“The project is not only about the children, but also about the families and the intense love and commitment, as well as the challenges and the triumphs that they go through,” she said . . .