East Tennessee photographer with Down Syndrome creating book for people with disorders

Houston Vandergriff and his mother Katie Vandergriff are working on a book that will be given to families with newborns diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Published: Mar. 14, 2022 at 7:06 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2022 at 1:07 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - University of Tennessee graduate Houston Vandergriff planned to use his travel photography to help people like him; people with Down Syndrome.

The last time he spoke to WVLT News, he had traveled to 26 countries and 48 states taking pictures and winning photography awards.

Outside of his Down & Towns business, Houston was working on a new project with his photography.

Houston and his mother Katie Vandergriff were working on a book that will be given to families with newborns diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

Houston doesn’t let his disability hold him back, so he’s creating a journal book to inspire others with Down Syndrome and their families to do the same.

Katie said they had this idea for a while and recently started to bring it to fruition.

“We’re in the process of soliciting other input from families that have been through it,” Katie said. “You know, what would you have like to have known? Or something you would like to share. We plan to include that in the journal along with Houston’s photography so that when people are holding this in their hand they can say ‘Look this was done by a person with Down Syndrome.’ They can do things. They can be important, they can do amazing things.”

Houston and his family were in the process of finalizing photos for the book and they hoped to have a prototype ready by April.

They’ve hoped the journal will help families think of Down Syndrome and other disabilities differently.

“It’s a great thing but people don’t know that yet,” shared Katie.

To find out more about Houston and his Downs & Towns organization, click here.

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