Monday 21 March 2016 marks the 11th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day.
On this day, people with Down’s syndrome (also referred to as Down syndrome) and those who live and work with them throughout the world are encouraged to organise and participate in activities and events to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down’s syndrome.
Down’s Syndrome and Equality
Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs as a result of an extra chromosome (chromosome 21). The condition results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics and health.
All pregnant women are offered screening for Down’s syndrome in the form of a blood test plus nuchal translucency ultrasound scan (the combined test) carried out at between 11 and 14 weeks. If the pregnancy has exceeded this, the blood test can be carried out alone although this is less accurate than the combined test.
It is not possible to definitively diagnose Down’s syndrome during pregnancy but screening offers the best way to assess the chances of a baby having Down’s syndrome.
The effects of Down’s syndrome differ between every individual but access to health care, early intervention programmes and to inclusive education as well as appropriate research are vital to the growth and development of individuals.
Down Syndrome International advocate that:
“People with Down syndrome, on an equal basis with other people, must be able to enjoy full and equal rights, both as children and adults. This includes the opportunity to participate fully in their communities”.
Lots of Socks
As part of the awareness Down Syndrome International invites everyone across the world to wear #lotsofsocks on 21 March 2016 to raise awareness on World Down Syndrome Day. Everyone from everywhere is encouraged to wear brightly coloured socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock or even 3 socks, with the aim is to get people talking, raise awareness and to encourage equality and inclusion for people with Down’s Syndrome.