World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day Quick Facts - US

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Related Hashtags#DownSyndrome, #EndTheStereotypes
2024 DateMarch 21, 2024
2025 DateMarch 21, 2025

World Down Syndrome Day

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World Down Syndrome Day History

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global health awareness day promoted by the United Nations. Its primary goal is to advocate for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome. This observance also serves as an opportunity for the public to learn more about Down syndrome, debunking myths and misconceptions about this genetic disorder.

World Down Syndrome Day was first launched by Down Syndrome International (DSi) in 2006. Notably, in 2011, the United States also officially recognized March 21 as WDSD through a resolution passed by the U.S. Senate. The date was chosen to signify the three copies of chromosome 21 characteristic of Down syndrome. Statistics show there are approximately 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States with Down syndrome, which makes the relevance and importance of this observance undeniable in American society.

In the United States, numerous educational and fundraising events are organized throughout the month of March to mark WDSD. Schools, community centers, workplaces, and various organizations take part in activities like lectures, seminars, and charity runs to raise awareness to the public. The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) plays a pivotal role in facilitating these events and campaigns. March 21 is distinctly chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, which leads to Down Syndrome.

Facts about World Down Syndrome Day

  • The theme for World Down Syndrome Day in 2024 was End The Stereotypes. The theme in 2023 was With Us Not For Us.
  • According to the U.N, those with Down syndrome can achieve an optimal quality of life through parental care and support, medical guidance, and community based support systems. By being inclusive such as with education, those with Down syndrome can have greater participation in mainstream society.
  • According to the CDC, there are about 6,000 babies born with down syndrome in the U.S. each year.
  • According to March Of Dimes, about 1 in 700 babies are born with Down Syndrome.

Top things to do in the US for World Down Syndrome Day

  • Learn more about Down syndrome in the short film Chromosomes R Us.
  • Listen to several people with Down syndrome explain what Down Syndrome is and how it affects their lives.
  • Watch a film or documentary that accurately portrays Down syndrome. Here are our suggestions:
    The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)
    Far From the Tree (2017)
    Where Hope Grows (2014)

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