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World Down Syndrome Day - End the Stereotypes

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), 21 March, is a global awareness day that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. 

Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms and functions as it grows. Around 1 in every 800 babies will be born with Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs naturally – there is no known cause.

Down syndrome usually causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. 

WDSD 2024 theme

The WDSD theme is the message that we are asking supporters around the world to share on and around 21 March.

For World Down Syndrome Day 2024, we call for people around the world to End The Stereotypes! 

Stereotypes are harmful!

For people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities, stereotypes can stop us from being treated like other people. We get treated like children, we are underestimated and we are excluded. Sometimes we are treated very badly or even abused. 

A stereotype is a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like. Stereotypes can be positive, negative, or neutral, but they are often inaccurate, or simply wrong! 
Stereotypes are often based on limited information or personal experience. They can be reinforced by the way something is represented in the media or by cultural messages. 
Once formed, a stereotype can be difficult to change.

The truth! 

People are all different. Each person with Down syndrome is different. Each person with an intellectual disability is different. 
We don’t all act the same way or like the same things. We each have our individual identity, interests, likes and dislikes, gifts, and talents, just like everyone else. 
Having Down syndrome or an intellectual disability is just one part of who we are! We are people. Treat us like people.