DSi's international guidelines for the education of learners with Down syndrome will be published in the next few weeks.

The Guidelines have been written by experts in the field and informed by international stakeholder feedback, with the overall aim to improve the availability and quality of education around the world.

For completeness, the guidelines comprise 3 separate guidelines, each with its own set of recommendations:

  • Guidelines for Leading
  • Guidelines for Teaching
  • Guidelines for Learning

Key considerations specific to the education of learners with Down syndrome are also outlined, with recommendations. 

The guidelines were officially launched at the WDSD Conference at UN Headquarters in New York on 21 March 2019, with a draft copy presented to a senior representative of UNICEF.

Following the launch, to ensure that the guidelines will be useful and relevant to everyone, DSi called on stakeholders from around the world to provide feedback.  

We contacted our member organisations and their education advisors in 136 countries, along with education and disability organisations at national, regional and international levels, education professionals, experts and researchers, to tap into expertise and knowledge in the field.

The guidelines are accessible and provide references to research that can be further explored. I haven't come across a document that is as concise and thorough at the same time.

Useful feedback was received from all regions of the world, together with a number of prominent international organisations.

These guidelines will be very useful. They can be used within countries to review and develop their national education policies in a more inclusive way.

What happens next

As soon as the document is published, we will promote and disseminate it throughout our network to maximise the impact of the work.

DSi member organisations will be encouraged to use the guidelines to advocate for inclusion and best practice for the education of learners with Down syndrome.

The guidelines will kick start a multi year effort by DSi to advocate for inclusive education, developing resources, toolkits and training, working with our national and regional members and other international strategic partners.

The guidelines should be used in teacher training, we should aim for this, targeting universities and training networks.

We are convinced that these new guidelines will have positive and substantial impact on the availability and quality of education around the world for people with Down syndrome.