Monday 21 March marks the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.
Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the world to choose your own activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has been a part of the human condition throughout history, in all genders, races and along all socio-economic lines. Yet despite this, many myths and false stereotypes surrounding people with Down syndrome prevail.
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.