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World Down Syndrome Day : Definition, History & Significance

Down syndrome happens to a child when they have an extra partial (or whole) copy of chromosome 21. World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on 21st March every year to raise awareness of Down syndrome worldwide.

What is the history of World Down Syndrome Day?

United Nations selected the date of 21st March to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome, which is the origin of Down syndrome. The Down Syndrome day originated from the efforts of the Down Syndrome Association Singapore. Soon, the Brazil federation of Associations of Down Syndrome joined and made extensive efforts to generate international support.

More Down Syndrome organizations joined the movement, and the International petition was filed to adopt World Down Syndrome Day in the United Nations in 2011. International Petition received more than 12000 signatures in two weeks to the petition. Finally, on 19th December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21st March as World Down Syndrome Day.

What is the significance of World Down Syndrome Day?

United Nations accepted Down Syndrome as a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that is a part of human anatomy and exists in all regions across the globe. Down Syndrome results in variable effects on learning styles, physical characteristics, or an individual’s health.

United Nations wants every nation to provide adequate access to health care, early intervention programs and educate society for proper growth and development of the individual.

United Nations realized recognizing the inherent dignity, worth and valuable contributions of persons with intellectual disabilities is vital for their autonomy and independence.

What are the events organized to mark the celebrations of World Down Syndrome Day?

Every year people with Down Syndrome, families, advocates, professionals, and organizations observe World Down Syndrome Day.

  1. Unique Website  www.worlddownsyndromeday.org has been created to allow people from all regions to interact with each other.
  2. Many conferences are held which allow people to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge about Down Syndrome. The conferences have allowed various individuals and organizations to empower and advocate for equal rights for Down Syndrome.
  3. Various key stakeholders in many countries come together to bring about positive change in people with Down Syndrome.
  4. Down Syndrome International (DSi) is working hard on encouraging the global community to connect and fight for the rights of the people who have Down Syndrome.

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