AU Watch

World Down Syndrom Day

21 March

World Down Syndrome Day logo“My Friends, My Community” – The benefits of inclusive environments for today’s children and tomorrow’s adults

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed on 21 March. On this day, people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organise and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.

People with Down syndrome, on an equal basis with other people, must be able to enjoy full and equal rights, both as children and adults. This includes the opportunity to participate fully in their communities.

The reality for many is that prevailing negative attitudes result in low expectations, discrimination and exclusion, creating communities where children and adults with Down syndrome cannot integrate successfully with their peers.

But where children with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to participate, all children benefit from this and environments of friendship, acceptance, respect for everyone and high expectations are created.

Not only this, but these environments prepare all today’s children for life as tomorrow’s adults, enabling adults with Down syndrome to live, work and participate, with confidence and individual autonomy, fully included in society alongside their friends and peers.

On World Down Syndrome Day, Monday 21 March 2017, join the organisers to encourage children and adults with Down syndrome to say “My Friends, My Community” and get the world talking about the benefits for everyone of inclusive environments.

What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition. It is universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines.

Down syndrome is estimated to occur in one in every 1 000 live births in developed countries and one in every 650 live births in developing countries. In South Africa it is roughly one in every 500.