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Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2022!

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2022!

Published: Mar. 18, 2022Updated: Jan. 4, 2024

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Every year on March 21, we celebrate a select group of people. Clubs and associations throughout the world prepare videos, songs, and meetups; social media posts build up the momentum with an attitude of competitive fun. Even the UN will pause their work and spend the day discussing an important topic related to this group. What is this all for? Raising public awareness of Down syndrome!

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) has been celebrated since 2006, starting with a WDSD website to record global activities. Groups in Brazil and Poland lobbied the UN until 2011, when WDSD was finally recognized by the General Assembly. The UN now invites all member states, other international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to observe the day.

Here are just a few of the ways people all over the world have celebrated WDSD. In 2019, a flash mob made this awesome video in the United Kingdom. The Irish group Wouldn't Change a Thing has been winning the Internet with their car seat karaoke style videos. In 2021, Sting – in partnership with CoorDown, an Italian-based advocacy group – created a new song celebrating folks with Down syndrome in the workplace. This year, look out for CoorDown’s new video, Just the Two of Us, celebrating romantic love (which is still a very controversial topic for many adults with Down syndrome). In California, there are a number of planned events including DJs, performers, movie nights, and bowling. (Check out our list below!)

There is also a serious side to all the celebrating. At the UN, the General Assembly will hold an all-day session to discuss Down syndrome. This year's theme is “What does inclusion mean?” (hashtag: #Inclusionmeans). Having the UN discuss inclusion all day is not only a great moment for folks with Down syndrome, it also supports inclusive education for all people with disabilities around the world.

This year, there is an added seriousness to WDSD because of the situation in Ukraine. Over the years, Down Syndrome International (DSi) has built an international network of organizations that keep in touch and work together, which culminated in the World Down Syndrome Congress in Dubai in 2021. That international community has been mobilizing in recent weeks to support the many children and adults in Ukraine with Down syndrome.

DSi reports that there are 2.7 million people with disabilities registered in Ukraine. A representative from the organization says, “We have heard from contacts in the country that the situation for persons with disabilities is appalling. For example, shelters in Kiev are inaccessible, so people with disabilities are forced to stay at home, not knowing where they can go to be safe . . . Persons with Down syndrome and other disabilities living in institutions are already cut off from their communities and risk being abandoned and forgotten.”

DSi has a list of international Down syndrome organizations that are actively working to ensure Ukrainians with disabilities are safe and supported. The people behind the WDSD website have asked that we light up our buildings with the Down syndrome colors, which happen to be the same yellow and blue that are now all over the media in support of Ukraine.

Local California WDSD Events

(Please check with the local organization to confirm details.)

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Monday, March 21, 2022

Sunday, March 27, 2022

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Karen Ford CullUndivided Content Specialist and Writer
With a passion for fostering inclusive education and empowering families in the disability community, Karen Ford Cull brings a wealth of experience as a Content Specialist and Advocate. With a diverse background spanning education, advocacy, and volunteer work, Karen is committed to creating a more inclusive and supportive world for children with disabilities. Karen, her husband, and three sons are committed to ensuring that their son with Down syndrome has every opportunity to lead an enviable life. As the Content Specialist at Undivided, Karen guides writers to produce informative and impactful content that ensures families have access to comprehensive and reliable resources. #### Reviewed by Jennifer Drew, Undivided Senior Editor Brittany Olsen, Undivided Editor

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