World Down Syndrome Day: How to Support the Community

March 21st, 2024 – World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day to promote inclusion and education surrounding Down syndrome. Many people know someone or have met someone with Down syndrome, but don’t have an understanding of it.

Each year in the United States, 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome, meaning 1 in every 700 babies*. Down syndrome is caused by children being born with an extra copy of chromosome 21.

Here at CP, we serve people with Down syndrome through our different programs. CP Early Education & Care provides a safe and inclusive program where children of all abilities play together. Our Adult Day Services provides a community for adults with a variety of disabilities, including Down syndrome, where they can gain the skills to be as independent as possible.

Down syndrome can cause a variety of side effects including speech, feeding and occupational concerns for a child. CP Therapy Services works with children and families to develop a care plan to help children build skills important to their development.

World Down Syndrome Day is a great opportunity to reflect on how to create a more inclusive environment for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities as well.

How can you be a better ally? Here are some ways to make a difference in the lives of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities:

  1. Use person-first language: refer to someone as “someone with a disability” rather than “a disabled person” to acknowledge that they are more than their disability.
  2. Treat people with disabilities with respect and dignity: They are capable of many things and just because they do things in a different way doesn’t mean it is the wrong way.
  3. Advocate for accessibility within the community: make sure public spaces including parks, schools and stores have accommodations for people with disabilities. Accommodations can include a ramp for a wheelchair and large enough doors to fit a wheelchair, specific lighting for sensory processing difficulties and more
  4. Surround yourself with a diverse community: don’t exclude people with disabilities from everyday tasks. They enjoy lots of the same activities as everyone else, it just might look different for them.
  5.  Educate yourself: use credible sources to learn more about disabilities including Down syndrome. Education creates understanding which creates accessibility.
Learn more about advocacy for people with disabilities through our All Included program HERE.

*Mai CT, Isenburg JL, Canfield MA, Meyer RE, Correa A, Alverson CJ, Lupo PJ, Riehle‐Colarusso T, Cho SJ, Aggarwal D, Kirby RS. National population‐based estimates for major birth defects, 2010–2014. Birth Defects Research. 2019; 111(18): 1420-1435.


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