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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. (Source – Down Syndrome International)
“Chromosomes R Us” is a short film by actors with Down syndrome explaining how Trisomy 21 occurs. Made by Shabang Inclusive Learning in collaboration with Mediapreview, Huddersfield, UK, this film was made possible by generous funding by BBC Children in Need.
World Down Syndrome Day is part of the United Nations calendar of events. 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.
The United Nations are calling for “full and effective participation and inclusion in society” and are striving to celebrate the lives of people with Down Syndrome, raise awareness of Down Syndrome and promote inclusion so that people with Down Syndrome have the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone else.
For World Down Syndrome Day 2022 they want to start a global conversation which will empower people around the world to advocate for full inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and for everyone. They want to hear from you, ‘Inclusion Means…‘
They draw attention to:
They have created a set of resources which will help you to advocate for inclusion – whether its at school, your work place, in media or in public life. Download their easy read theme guide; useful for anyone who wants to join their #InclusionMeans campaign and create messages.
Last year Down Syndrome International set a 21 day challenge. The idea was that from the 1st to the 21st of March you or your school set a fundraising challenge.
Perhaps use their challenge ideas for 2022:
Having fun and raising money are important aspects of the day but raising awareness and improving inclusion for learners with Down Syndrome are of course at the heart of it all. Last year Down Syndrome International published the International Guidelines for the Education of Learners with Down Syndrome which provides a huge amount of information about how education institutions can meet the needs of learners with Down Syndrome. If you have any learners with Down Syndrome in your setting and want more information it’s certainly a great place to start!