One week ago, on March 21, eKidzCare and ePeople Healthcare participated in the Lots of Socks campaign for World Down Syndrome Day. The challenge was to raise awareness of Down Syndrome by wearing crazy, noticeable socks and using them to start a conversation about Down Syndrome.
The theme for 2023’s World Down Syndrome Day was “With Us Not For Us.” The theme was developed from a group of ambassadors with Down Syndrome who represent people with Down Syndrome in their country. The theme calls people and organizations around the world to take a human rights-based approach to disability. This means viewing those with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as everyone else, rather than someone who needs to completely rely on others for help and support. The DSi (Down Syndrome International) is calling the world to work WITH those with Down Syndrome to improve their lives, rather than doing things FOR them.
The theme is broken down into 3 specific messages:
- “We call for all supporters to be With Us Not For Us.”
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for everyone to have the freedom to make their own choices, however people with Down Syndrome often have controlling support. Their supporters often do things FOR them not WITH them.
2. “We call for all organizations to include people with Down Syndrome and be With Us Not For Us.”
The United Nations Convention calls for full participation of persons and disabilities but many organizations exclude people with Down Syndrome from taking part and making decisions in their work.
3. “We call for all decision-makers to involve organizations representing people with Down Syndrome in all decisions, and work With Us Not For Us.”
Organizations representing people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities are often excluded from policy and decision-making. But the DSi and United Nations Committee call for those organizations to be included, and given the opportunity to represent themselves.
Down Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. There is no known cause, and around 1 in 800 babies will be born with Down Syndrome. It usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues like heart problems, thyroid disorder, epilepsy and sleep problems. As a person with Down Syndrome transitions into adulthood, they also are at higher risk for mental health issues and Alzheimer’s disease. Children with Down Syndrome generally develop more slowly their than peers, and that gap will become more apparent with age. However, children with Down Syndrome each have their own individual talents and aptitudes. They are able to develop knowledge and skills with the right learning strategies and support.
World Down Syndrome Day may have past, but the DSi is making a global call to keep their theme “With Us Not For Us” relevant throughout the year. eKidzCare and ePeople Healthcare were proud to have done our part on World Down Syndrome day, and are dedicated to raising awareness of Down Syndrome and the rights of those with disabilities year round.
Learn more about Down Syndrome, and how you can help raise awareness from the DSi’s website.