061 334023 | info@downsyndromelimerick.ie
061 334023 | info@downsyndromelimerick.ie

World Down Syndrome Day

What is World Down Syndrome Day?

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated annually on the 21st of March.  It is celebrated worldwide and the awareness day has been officially recognised and observed by the United Nations since 2012.

WDSD is celebrated on 21/03 to represent the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome that people with Down syndrome uniquely have!

World Down Syndrome Day 2024

On World Down Syndrome Day (21 March), people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them throughout the world organise and participate in activities and events to raise awareness.

Each year, Down Syndrome International develops a theme for WDSD which forms the basis of a global campaign in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The theme of this year’s International event is “End The Stereotypes”, and Down Syndrome Ireland is celebrating the achievements of its members in the fields of employment, education, self-advocacy and beyond.

This WDSD, the message that we are asking supporters around the world to share on and around 21 March is “End the Stereotypes”.

More information can be found: More information can be found: https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/end-the-stereotypes

This is Padraig, listen to what he has to say about #EndTheStereotypes

Here is Annie, a member of Down Syndrome Limerick, expressing her own thoughts around stereotypes:

This is Nikki telling us a little of what she has achieved so far in her career.

How can you help celebrate WDSD and raise funds?

On Thursday, 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 differing abilities, individuality and ending preconceived stereotypes about people with Down syndrome.

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.

Raise Awareness

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 and family members on a voluntary basis.  Down Syndrome Limerick 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.

Fundraiser Ideas

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.
Movie Night

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):

  • An Irish Goodbye (Oscar nominated short film)
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon
  • Where Hope Grows
  • Sanctuary
  • For Paloma
  • Colour My World With Love
  • Champions
  • My Feral Heart
  • The Eighth Day
  • The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
  • The Teachings of Jon
  • My Hero Brother
  • Coming Down The Mountain
  • Herself (due to be released soon)
  • I am Sam
  • An Irish Goodbye (older audience)
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

Helpful Terminology
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:

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. 

World Down Syndrome Day - Logo

#WorldDownSyndromeDay #WDSD2023 #WithUsNotForUs #RockYourSocks4DSL #Support4DSL