World Down Syndrome Day 2023
This year the global theme for WDSD in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is “With Us Not For Us”. The theme is focused on a human rights-based approach to disability – the right to be treated fairly, have the same opportunities as everyone else, and the freedom for people to make their own choices. We’re calling on all supporters and organisations to work #WithUsNotForUs to improve the lives of everyone with Down syndrome.
How can you help celebrate WDSD and raise funds?
On Tuesday March 21st, we would love you to get all your friends, family, colleagues, schools and communities involved to raise awareness about Down syndrome. Join us in celebrating difference, differing abilities and promoting inclusion in society.
If you are looking for ideas on how to get involved, we have loads below:
Rock Your Socks
As WDSD approaches, you may hear people talking about socks, and there is a very good reason for this. The Rock Your Socks campaign exists to raise awareness about Down syndrome. Chromosomes, under a microscope, look like tiny little colourful socks and so socks are used to celebrate the extra chromosome that people with Down syndrome have.
People with Down syndrome rock their extra chromosome. We are asking you to rock your socks to celebrate with them! All you need to do is choose some socks that are going to get noticed – they can be mismatched socks or your craziest and most colourful socks; whatever takes your fancy and the brighter the better!
Some people wear an extra sock to represent the extra chromosome. Wearing mismatched socks celebrates difference. Some friends wear the same set of mismatched socks to point out that we are more alike than different. Lastly, wearing crazy socks gets attention. If someone notices the socks, they might ask about them and allow for a discussion about Down syndrome, differences, acceptance, and inclusion. You can tell them everything that you think they need to know about Down syndrome and encourage them to get involved and maybe make a donation, if they are in a position to do so.
Share your pictures on social media, tag us and use the hashtag #RockYourSocks4DSL!
You can support people with Down syndrome on World Down Syndrome Day by donating to Down Syndrome Limerick (DSL). DSL provides supports and services to people of all ages with Down syndrome including Speech therapy, school supports, adult education programmes and employment. Money donated to Down Syndrome Limerick stays locally to support and provide services to children and adults with Down syndrome in Limerick and the surrounding areas.
Share on Social Media!
Please share your photos and videos with us at Down Syndrome Limerick on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok. Use the following hashtags in your social media posts to help spread awareness this World Down Syndrome Day – #RockYourSocks4DSL #WorldDownSyndromeDay #WithUsNotForUs #WDSD2023 #Support4DSL
Please ensure that you respect privacy when sharing photos, especially photos with minors. We advise you to follow your school or group’s Data Protection policies prior to sharing on social media.
WDSD is a day to raise awareness, talk about disability, inclusion and difference. We love to see schools, businesses and communities talk about WDSD and what it means and what you can do to ensure people with Down syndrome are given the same opportunities as everyone else.
Down Syndrome Limerick is run by parents on a voluntary basis who provide services and supports to help people with Down syndrome to reach their full potential. Supports are offered to schools too who are teaching students with Down syndrome. Get in contact with us if you need support. Parents, teachers, SNAs, employers…..we are here to help!
Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), our parent charity, along with the local branches, have been campaigning for the rights of people with Down syndrome and over many years over 20 submissions have been made to a wide and varied range of Government consultations. DSI put together a list of 21 Demands that represent what is effectively needed to bring Ireland towards a more inclusive society for people with Down syndrome across the country.
School Resource Packs
We have put together some resource packs for schools to assist teachers in talking about Down syndrome and inclusion.
Download the primary school resource pack here – WDSD_Primary School Resource Pack.
Download the secondary school resource pack here – WDSD_Secondary School Resource Pack
To view the webinar recorded by Down Syndrome Limerick about World Down Syndrome Day click here.
You can organise your own fundraiser for Down Syndrome Limerick. We have given you some ideas below:
|21Km Relay||Team up to encourage students, friends, work colleagues etc to explore their community, compete against other teams in their school or workplaces while getting some exercise and fresh air. It could form part of a health and wellbeing initiative! Each person can track their distance and time using their own fitness tracker.|
|Learn Lámh||Learn some Lámh signs or record a song that you could release to raise funds for Down Syndrome Limerick. We would be happy to help you with learning any signs you need.|
Invite students, family or friends to a movie night and donate the equivalent “ticket price” to Down Syndrome Limerick. Check out some movies that have actors with Down syndrome in them (Please check age appropriateness and content suitability before watching):
|Table Quiz||Host a table quiz. Don’t forget to ask some questions about Down syndrome to test people’s knowledge!|
|Karaoke||Host a Karaoke party. Great for schools where teachers and students can have a sing off!|
|Spinathon||Host a Spinathon at a local gym! Sponsor each cycling participant.|
|Colour Run||Make running more fun for schools and students. Have students wear white tee shirts. At specific checkpoints, volunteers can spray them with water-based paint or throw water balloons containing paint. Raise money by charging a participation fee or by getting sponsors to pledge money for each lap completed.|
|Student Selfie Station||Students and selfies – the perfect match! Student runners take selfies at specific checkpoints (to be posted on social media later). Register participants for an entrance fee. As those selfies will be shared, this activity is also an excellent marketing tool and can attract even more donations. Have your students reach out to local businesses in advance to get sponsorship for the event and help raise more money, and advertise the business’s goodwill and generosity!|
We would be delighted to help you with your fundraiser by
- Help you create your own online donation page for your event.
- Provide a promo video to say “Thank You” for getting behind the charity and to tell you what we use your money for.
- We can acknowledge your school or business for your support.
Contact Us for more information
|DO NOT SAY||DO SAY|
|Suffers from OR is a victim of Down syndrome||Has Down syndrome|
|A Downs baby/person/child||A person/baby/child with Down syndrome or who has Down syndrome|
|Mentally handicapped/backward||Learning disability|
|Disease/illness/handicap||Condition OR genetic condition|
|Downs (as an abbreviation)||DS (as an abbreviation if necessary)|
Here are links to resources which will provide insights and opportunities for discussion:
- The international theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is With Us Not For Us. Here you can find out more about what this means and how we can incorporate ‘With Us Not For Us’ in daily life.
- Education is the perfect first stepping stone in teaching children how to be inclusive. Down Syndrome Ireland have produced a guide on teaching humility, humanity, and open-mindedness in working, learning, communicating, and playing with children with disabilities. The Inclusion Means 2022 school guide is designed to support teachers in the classroom and help with lesson plans around inclusion and representation.
- “…more than medical” is a fascinating perspective that provides an insight into the realities of family life with a baby, child, teenager or adult with Down syndrome in Ireland today. We have a limited supply of these books available in Down Syndrome Limerick if you would like a copy.
- In celebration of our 50th year, Down Syndrome Ireland created a dedicated site that features people with Down syndrome from across Ireland, including our own Pádraig O’Callaghan – The UpSide campaign focuses on real issues that people with Down syndrome face and the value that including people with Down syndrome brings to the economy, society, and the spirit of the wider community.
On March 21st, we invite you to get all your friends, family and colleagues involved, let’s get people talking on World Down Syndrome Day.
#WorldDownSyndromeDay #WDSD2023 #WithUsNotForUs #RockYourSocks4DSL #Support4DSL