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The theme of this year calling for people around the world to end the stereotypes

Every year on March 21st, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated worldwide, honoring the unique abilities, talents, and contributions of individuals with Down syndrome. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of promoting inclusion, acceptance, and understanding within our communities.

Advocacy for inclusion is the main focus of this year’s #endthestereotypes campaign. The promoters of this theme explain that it is no secret that, for people with Down’s syndrome and intellectual disabilities, stereotypes can prevent them from being treated like everyone else. They are treated like children, undervalued and excluded. Sometimes they are treated very badly or even abused.

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21, it usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. Around 1 in every 800 babies will be born with Down syndrome and it occurs naturally – there is no known cause.

Despite the challenges individuals with Down syndrome may face, they lead fulfilling lives and make remarkable contributions to society in various fields, including education, arts, sports, and advocacy.  One of the primary goals of World Down Syndrome Day is to raise awareness about Down syndrome and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions that may exist. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and capabilities of individuals with Down syndrome and to promote a more inclusive society where everyone is valued and respected.

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in how society perceives and supports individuals with Down syndrome. More emphasis is being placed on empowering individuals with Down syndrome to reach their full potential by providing access to education, employment opportunities, healthcare, and social support services.

As we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, let us reflect on the progress that has been made towards greater inclusion and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome, while also acknowledging the work that still needs to be done. By embracing diversity, challenging stereotypes, and fostering inclusion, we can create a world where everyone, regardless of their abilities, is valued, respected, and given the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Together, let us continue to advocate for a more inclusive society where individuals with Down syndrome and all individuals with disabilities can live, learn, work, and thrive alongside their peers, contributing their unique perspectives, talents, and abilities to make the world a better place for us all.

There are so many ways to get involved. Take a look at the World Down Syndrome Day website and find out how you can help.