Photo Series Shows What 'Love Means' for People With Down Syndrome: 'Love Is Love'

Photo Series Shows What 'Love Means' for People With Down Syndrome: 'Love Is Love'
Tatem, 30, and Michael, 32 (Engaged)

Michael: "[Love means] having a special relationship where you respect each other."

Tatem: "Love means to me respect and cherish."

Ryan, 21 (Single)

Ryan: "It is okay to love someone and not be in a romantic relationship."

Ren, 27 (Single)

Ren: "Love means someone special to take care of me."

Paige, 25, and Tyler, 23 (Dating)

Paige: "Everybody needs someone to love and have a warm hug. It's the best feeling in the world."

Tyler: "Love means getting married."

Naomi, 23 (Single)

Naomi: "Love means hugging, kissing with permission. Spendings time together, go for walks, have breakfast, lunch, go out for dinner. Indoors we cook and bake together, watch movies and Netflix."

Krystal, 32, and Tammy, 29 (Dating)

Tammy: "Love is not just only consent but about trust, communicate, loyal, respect and caring."

Krystal: "Love means to me that love comes in different forms and love is love."

Matt, 30, Jessica, 23 (Best Friends)

Jessica: "[Love means] being a boyfriend and girlfriend or a friendship between a guy and a girl, or a girl and a girl or a guy and a guy."

Matt: "Love means someone that understands you and loves for who you are. And there for you."

Greg, 28, Brie, 30 (Engaged)

Greg: [Love means] I want to be with someone all the time.

Brie: "Love is when [you] care for someone and when you make them smile and you give them a hug and tell them you love them. Love is kind."

Kirk, 44, and Beth, 41 (Dating)

Kirk: "I think it makes me feel happy."

Beth: "I feel love like singing in the shower."

Photographer Hilary Gauld recently partnered with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society for a series called "Love Means." The project brings 15 people with Down syndrome together to share their views on love — and how it uniquely fits into their lives, Gauld tells PEOPLE.

"This series is something that I have wanted to do for the last two years," Gauld explains. "Having the opportunity to meet these couples and individuals, hearing their stories and watching their interactions meant a lot to me."

Gauld's goal has been to "capture their love for the world to see, and to make more space for other love stories in mainstream media." Now she's ready to share the resulting images — which include single adults, heterosexual couples and members of the LGBTQ community — on World Down Syndrome Day, falling on March 21. The day is meant to raise awareness about the condition, which occurs in about one of every 800 live births, according to Down Syndrome International.

"My hope is that these stories and visuals simply inspire, educate and create the space for greater visibility of the experiences adults with Down syndrome navigate, including love," Gauld says.