Learn more about World Down Syndrome Awareness Week

The week continues through March 21, which is also World Down Syndrome Day.

Down Syndrome Awareness week continues through Sunday, March 21, which is also World Down Syndrome Day.

The 21st day of March was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome.

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This week is when the Down syndrome community creates a single global voice advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome.

There are various awareness actions and events happening around the world and in local communities. The colours for Down syndrome awareness are blue and yellow, so you can show your support by wearing these hues.

One of the awareness campaigns is “Lots of Socks” to raise awareness by wearing socks of various kinds and colours and posting your pictures on social media using the hashtags #LotsofSocks #WDSD2021.

Why “Lots of Socks?” Well, they represent a picture of chromosomes that some say look a little bit like pairs of socks. Sometimes people have an extra “sock,” or chromosome, and a person with Down syndrome has an extra copy of chromosome 21.

In a non-COVID-19 era, local Down syndrome groups would get together for a social gathering with all the members and their families to hold an event with food and cake, a gathering in the park with balloons and a fundraising or community walk. Every group and community would celebrate in a variety of imaginative ways.

Down Syndrome Awareness Week is different this year due to the pandemic, but we can still raise awareness and celebrate the Down syndrome community in a COVID-19-secure way.

Contact your friends on social media and let them know about World Down Syndrome Week and Day.

Tell your family and friends and colleagues at work about it.

People with Down syndrome learn, laugh, love, live and, just like the rest of us, sometimes also get cross, sad, dislike things, get uncomfortable being stared at and just want to join in with everyone else.

Where children and adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to join in, everyone benefits and environments of friendship, acceptance, respect for everyone and high expectations are created.

Inclusive environments help to prepare all today’s children for life as tomorrow’s adults, enabling adults with Down syndrome to live, work and join in with confidence and independence, fully included in society alongside their friends and peers.

Next time you meet someone with a disability, say hello and you will likely receive a smile or a wave hello back. You will both feel great.

Happy Down Syndrome Week and World Down Syndrome Day.

For more information, send an email to the Thompson Nicola Ups and Downs Society at dsralph@telus.net.

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