World Down Syndrome Day: With Us Not For Us
Happy World Down Syndrome Day! It's March 21, World Down Syndrome Day, which is all about raising awareness about Down syndrome (Ds) and celebrating the amazing people with Ds living their beautiful lives and enriching the communities around them. It's also about ensuring people with Ds have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities to which all people are entitled.
Why March 21, which can be written 3/21? Check out this video:
This year's theme is "With Us Not For Us," which hones in on the need for inclusive policies and practices that focus on elevating human rights for individuals with Ds.
"A human rights-based approach views people with disabilities as having the right to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as everyone else, working With others to improve their lives," the World Down Syndrome Day website says.
As this video explains, the theme emphasizes inclusion, collaboration, empathy, and celebration of the differences that make our world so amazing.
What are some ways you can celebrate World Down Syndrome Day?
Wear funky and mismatched socks and share pictures with the hashtag #LotsofSocks!
Dress in blue and yellow, or wear blue and yellow ribbons, bracelets, or stickers.
LEARN about Down syndrome if you're not sure what Ds is or SHARE about Ds.
Watch all the amazing videos posted by people with Ds and their loves ones on social media.
Request inclusive books for your schools and local libraries. This is just one list of potential books. Here's another one.
Learn about inclusion and ways to advocate for inclusion in schools, workplaces, and communities.
Join campaigns and sign up for advocacy alerts to support inclusive policies.
Participate in local and virtual events. If you can't this year, be ready next year!
Look up when the next Buddy Walk is happening near you, and plan ahead.
Check with your local associations to find walks and events in which to participate.
Have fun! Be kind! Suggest more ways to celebrate in comments!
Here's are two great videos to get started on a couple of those bullet points:
Check out these great read-alouds of Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata and Yong Ling Kang and My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Wolosonand Bryan Gough:
Check out some more ways to work with people with Down syndrome for a more inclusive world!
Also, yesterday, I shared a list of books promoting neurodiversity. The post includes books that feature main characters with Ds. You can also find a bunch of children's books related to Ds and other neurodiverse conditions in this list I compiled on Bookshop.org.
So, got your funky or mismatched socks on? I got to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day by sharing our book, Hide and Shh! A Not-So-Sneaky Sister Story About Inclusion, for the very first time with local students. They were ready with their socks!