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

We believe that everyone should have access to the highest attainable standard of health, without discrimination.

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

What inclusion means in health.

Helen Powell - Programme Manager, Down Syndrome International - (United Kingdom)

What inclusion means in health care.

Jim Blair - Independent Consultant Nurse in Learning Disabilities - (United Kingdom)

Inclusive Communication.

Rohan Fulwood and Health Ambassadors - Self-advocates, Down Syndrome Australia - (Australia)

Inclusive Health - My diagnosis does not define me.

Gillian Gehrke - Self-advocate, Down Syndrome Queensland - (Australia)

Cardiac consensus statement for people with Down syndrome.

Dr Andrew Constantine - Cardiology Speciality Registrar, Royal Brompton Hospital - (United Kingdom)

Why is it important for families and self-advocates to join DSConnect® The Down Syndrome Registry?

INCLUDE Project and DS-Connect® - Research team, Self-advocates and families, National Institutes of Health - (United States)

Health Inclusion.

Dr Manal Jaroor - Paediatrician and Chairperson of Emirates Down Syndrome Association - (United Arab Emirates)


In health, inclusion means…

  • Everyone having the same access to health care.
  • All health care focusing on the health needs of each person and not on the fact they have Down syndrome or a disability.
  • Having information about health care in formats everyone can understand.
  • Having accessible and welcoming consultations.
  • Having the support, information and time needed to make decisions about your own health care.

In health, inclusion is not

  • Denial of healthcare because you have a disability and are not as important.
  • Assuming that a person's complaint is a part of their disability without exploring other factors (diagnostic overshadowing). 
  • Consultations that are inaccessible due to the use of complex language.
  • Consulting with the support person rather than the individual.
  • Leaving people with Down syndrome out of research and consultation into health matters that concern them.

Read our other #InclusionMeans messages.

#InclusionMeans in Education

#InclusionMeans in Employment

#InclusionMeans in Organisations


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

Inclusive health