World Down Syndrome Day (21 March 2022)

March 21 2022

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) , 21 March, is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.

The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition, being universally present across racial, gender or socioeconomic lines in approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is considerable variation worldwide. Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues.

On World Down Syndrome Day 2022, we are asking:

What does inclusion mean?

“Inclusion means {add your response here}.”

The United Nations, in the general principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), calls for “full and effective participation and inclusion in society”.

Everyone should have the same opportunities, take part in the same activities, be able to go to the same places and enjoy the same experiences in life.

But around the world people with Down syndrome and disabilities do not benefit from full and effective participation and inclusion in society.

There are many reasons for this. One reason is a lack of agreed understanding about what inclusion is and what inclusive systems look like in practice.

Not everyone understands:

  • how to include people with Down syndrome and disabilities;
  • how full inclusion benefits everyone – with or without disabilities;
  • what is happening around the world to bring about inclusion for all.

So on 21 March 2022, we would like people with Down syndrome, families, advocates, professionals, organisations and indeed anyone around the world, to tell us:

“#InclusionMeans …”

Why does this matter for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD)?

WDSD is a unique opportunity for the global Down syndrome community to connect every year, so we can:

  • share ideas, experiences and knowledge;
  • empower each other to advocate for equal rights for people with Down syndrome and
  • reach out to key stakeholders to bring about positive change.

From now, up to 21 March 2022, we have an opportunity to share our collective understanding of #Inclusion.

In doing this, we can get a global conversation going, which will empower people around the world to advocate for full #Inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and disabilities, and indeed for everyone.

For more information, visit the WDSD website.


Article originally from Down Syndrome International.