World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day Quick Facts - AU

HashtagsCompiled on#WorldDownSyndromeDay
Related Hashtags#DownSyndrome, #EndTheStereotypes
2024 Date21 March 2024
2025 Date21 March 2025

World Down Syndrome Day

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World Down Syndrome Day History

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) aims to raise awareness of Down Syndrome, a congenital disorder caused by an extra 21st chromosome. The day is dedicated to advocating for the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. As part of the international community, Australia recognises the significance of this day and strives to promote understanding, acceptance, and empowerment for individuals with Down Syndrome, transforming their lives and facilitating positive contributions to society.

The United Nations General Assembly officially recognised World Down Syndrome Day as an annual, global observance in 2011, highlighting the importance of recognising and addressing the specific needs and challenges of those with Down Syndrome. In Australia, where approximately 1 in every 1100 babies is born with Down Syndrome, the day is pivotal. The country's commitment to individuals with Down Syndrome involves healthcare support, early intervention programmes, inclusive education, and employment opportunities. These are avenues aimed at ensuring fulfilment in life, creating an environment in which every individual, irrespective of their genetic make-up, can reach their full potential.

In Australia, World Down Syndrome Day is observed through various activities centred around raising awareness and advocating for the rights of individuals with Down Syndrome. These activities often include community-based events, educational workshops, and fundraising campaigns geared towards research and support services. Activities are held across the country and typically involve participation from schools, workplaces, and communities, facilitating a wider reach and impact. World Down Syndrome Day occurs on the 21st of March every year, symbolising the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, which causes 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.
  • In South Australia, the community celebrates World Down Syndrome Day with a family fun day annually. They often wear odd or brightly colored socks, known globally as "Lots of Socks," a symbol to raise awareness and celebrate differences and diversity.
  • In Australia, children with Down Syndrome have the legal right to access mainstream education, including access to necessary adaptations and supports.

Top things to do in Australia for World Down Syndrome Day

  • Learn more about Down syndrome in the short film Chromosomes R Us.
  • Join the Fun Run & Walk: Down Syndrome NSW organizes an annual Step UP event in different locations throughout Australia. The event includes races, walks, and fun activities for children.
  • Read a book to learn more about Down Syndrome in Australia:
    The Lucky Few: Finding God's Best in the Most Unlikely Places - by Heather Avis
    Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives - edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper

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