Today is the 10th Annual World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). This date is observed by the United Nations as a global awareness day to celebrate the lives of people with Down syndrome.
Equal Rights for People with Down Syndrome
WDSD was first celebrated in 2006 but the date was made official by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. The date was not selected randomly; the 21st day of the 3rd month was chosen specifically to signify the trisomy (3 copies) of chromosome number 21, which causes Down syndrome.
Down syndrome occurs across racial, gender and socioeconomic lines in approximately 1 in 800 live births, although there is much variation in its prevalence worldwide. Down syndrome comes with a varying degree of intellectual and physical disabilities and associated medical issues.
With the right medical care and support, people with Down syndrome can live long and in many cases normal and full lives. The overall goal of WDSD is to ensure that people with Down syndrome have the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else, and that they are included as equal members of the community.
This video ‘Chromosomes R Us’, is a short film by actors with Down syndrome explaining how Trisomy 21 occurs. This film was made by Shabang Inclusive Learning in collaboration with Mediapreview, Huddersfield, UK, with financial support from BBC Children in Need.
Rock Your Socks!
We had a lot of fun taking part in this event last year. The idea is to wear two odd socks on the day, because these symbolise the mismatched chromsomes that people with Down syndrome harbour. So now you have a reason to keep your odd socks – what’s not to like! Check out the #lotsofsocks tag on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to see people all over the world rocking their odd socks for WDSD.
On the day, events such as ‘Rock Your Socks’ are held throughout the world and this year many of these will be held virtually. The UN offices in New York and Geneva, Switzerland will hold online conferences in the day’s leading up to the event, featuring speakers with and without Down syndrome from all over the world discussing the theme ‘CONNECT’ and how the global community can honour the rights of people with Down syndrome.
You can also easily sign up to host your own event or to get information about events in your local area.
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