World Down Syndrome Day

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World Down Syndrome Day — let’s build a society more inclusive for everyone!

World Down Syndrome Day is observed on March 21 to raise public awareness and create a single global voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome is not a disease. It is a condition in which babies are born with a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.

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This extra chromosome changes the course of growth and causes the characteristics linked with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical features of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. The degree of these characteristics many vary from person to person as everyone is born unique.

People with Down syndrome experience development delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

Words matter. People with Down Syndrome are usually labeled “Mongoloid”, “handicapped”, “mentally retarded”, “retarded”, or just “retard”. Labels are considered politically incorrect, hurtful and dehumanizing. There is no difference between hurtful and degrading words used to label ethnic or religious minorities and the words used to label people with Down syndrome.

This World Down Syndrome Day pledge to give everyone an equal chance to live without any unfair discrimination!

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