In Celebration of World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is on Monday, March 21st. It is a day to raise awareness and advocate for the rights of people with Ds. The United Nations officially declared the 21st of March as World Down Syndrome Day in December 2011. The date of March 21st was chosen because Ds is caused by 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.
How can you celebrate WDSD?
Get your socks on! – Socks are shaped like chromosomes, and have become a symbol of support for people with Down syndrome on WDSD. Wear some bright and mismatched socks on Monday to show your support. When someone asks about your socks, help educate them on the topic of Ds. You may also join the #LotsofSocks campaign on Instagram to help raise awareness by using the hashtag.
Advocate – This year, the theme for WDSD is inclusion. Help advocate for the inclusion of people with Ds by answering “What does inclusion mean?” on social media using #InclusionMeans and #WorldDownSyndromeDay.
Attend the 11th WDSD Conference – The United Nations headquarters in New York is hosting a virtual conference to explain what inclusion means. This event is on Zoom, and consists of separate sessions from 8am until 12pm PST on WDSD. Register to attend here.
You can also participate in WDSD to help raise awareness locally. This past year, Southern Nevada has seen a rise of organizations specific to Down syndrome, including the establishment of our very own Down Syndrome Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).
What are some ways you can be a health design thinker and raise awareness about the vulnerable populations in your community?