On World Down Syndrome Day 2022, Down Syndrome International is asking:

What does #Inclusion mean?

We want you to tell us:

"#InclusionMeans …"

¿Qué significa #Inclusión?

"#InclusiónSignifica …"

Que signifie #Inclusion?

"#InclusionSignifie ..."

Why ask this question?

In its general principles, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) calls for:

Full and effective participation and inclusion in society

There are references throughout the UN CRPD to #Inclusion, for example:

“Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others.”

“States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities...to the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.”

In 2019, the UN Secretary General adopted the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UN DIS). This provides a path towards disability #Inclusion through all areas of the work of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights, and development.

Around the world, it is widely accepted that everyone should have the same opportunities, be able to go to the same places, take part in the same activities, and enjoy the same experiences in life.

But the reality is that people with Down syndrome and disabilities today do not benefit from full and effective participation and #Inclusion in society.

There are many reasons for this. One reason is that there is a lack of agreed understanding of what #Inclusion is and what #Inclusive systems look like in practice.

So on 21 March 2022, we would like people with Down syndrome, families, advocates, professionals, organisations and indeed anyone around the world, to tell us:

"#InclusionMeans …"

Why does this matter for World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD)?

WDSD is a unique opportunity for the global Down syndrome community to connect every year, so we can:

  • share ideas, experiences and knowledge;
  • empower each other to advocate for equal rights for people with Down syndrome and
  • reach out to key stakeholders to bring about positive change.

From now, up to 21 March 2022, we have an opportunity to share our collective understanding of #Inclusion.

In doing this, we can get a global conversation going, which will empower people around the world to advocate for full #Inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and disabilities, and indeed for everyone.

What can you do?

Every year we encourage people with Down syndrome, families, advocates, professionals and organisations to observe WDSD with their own activities.

We want to see this again, more than ever in 2022. We encourage you to:

  1. go ahead and plan whatever is possible and safe to do. This could be anything from a social media post to a large organised event…every contribution counts;
  2. whatever you decide to do, please provide responses that start with #InclusionMeans … and make sure you advocate for full #Inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and disabilities;
  3. let DSi know and we will make sure your voices are amplified.

Tell us what #InclusionMeans

What will DSi do?

Supporting your activities

DSi will support you in your WDSD activities through the WDSD website, our social media channels and direct communications with our member organisations and the community.

We will:

  • provide resources to help you plan and organise your activities and
  • share details of your activities and amplify your messages.

DSi activities

For our own activities, these will be focused on providing responses that start with #InclusionMeans … from the perspective of the work we do and the amazing work our member organisations do.

DSi is focused on delivering real change. We want to see a world with #Inclusive human systems and we are currently working in 4 key areas that impact the lives of people with Down syndrome:

  • #InclusiveParticipation
  • #InclusiveEducation
  • #InclusiveEmployment
  • #InclusiveHealth

Concentrating mainly in these areas:

  • we will provide responses that start with #InclusionMeans …
  • we will advocate for full #Inclusion in society for people with Down syndrome and disabilities;
  • we will organise the WDSD @United Nations events in New York and Geneva, based on this theme.

Good luck and let us know all about your plans so we can tell the world what #InclusionMeans on 21 March 2022!