For World Down Syndrome Day 2022 we are asking, what does inclusion mean?

We believe that everyone should have access to employment in inclusive workplaces.

The following presentations were delivered at the 11th World Down Syndrome Day Conference in New York, 21 March 2022.

What is inclusion in employment?

Rachael Kibe - Programme Fellow, Down Syndrome International (Kenya)

Inclusion at work means getting a fair chance.

Jürgen Menze - Disability Inclusion Officer, International Labour Organisation - (Switzerland)

My experiences of working at IBM.

Ariel Ary - Self-advocate, IBM Business Transformation Center - (Costa Rica)

Subminimum wage for people with disabilities.

Kayla McKeon - Self-advocate, Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) - (United States)

Being a Research Assistant.

Down Syndrome Research Program University of Queensland - Research staff members - (Australia)

The importance of inclusive employment.

Samuel Mugabi - Self-advocate, Inclusion Uganda - (Uganda)

The benefits of inclusive employment.

Charbel Abou Khalil - Self-Advocate, Office Assistant, Kore Sanitary Ware & Bathroom accessories - (Lebanon)

The win-win of employment inclusion for different organizations.

Vinicius Streda - Self-Advocate, Director of Activism at MetaSocial Institute - (Brazil)


In employment, inclusion means…

  • Everyone having the same opportunities to work and earn a living, including people with Down syndrome.
  • Everyone working in the same jobs, companies and workplaces, not in a segregated or ‘special’ settings.
  • Everyone being protected from discrimination in recruitment and employment.
  • Everyone being treated well and kept safe at work.
  • Everyone is paid equally for the equal work, not paid less because they have Down syndrome.
  • Accessible and welcoming workplaces.
  • People getting the support and accommodations they need to succeed at work.

In employment, inclusion is not

  • Sheltered workshops or workplaces that only employ people with Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities.
  • “Special jobs” for people with Down syndrome.
  • Underestimating what people with Down syndrome can do.
  • Expecting people to fit into an inaccessible workplace with no support.
  • Paying people less based on their disability.
  • Only beneficial for people with disabilities.
  • Expensive! Most changes needed are easy and cost nothing.

Read our other #InclusionMeans messages.

#InclusionMeans in Education

#InclusionMeans in Health

#InclusionMeans in Organisations


Find out what we are doing to achieve inclusive employment for all:

Inclusive employment