DSi is delighted to announce the publication of the International Guidelines for the Education of Learners with Down Syndrome.

Download guidelines (PDF)

The guidelines have been developed to improve the availability and quality of education for people with Down syndrome around the world and to contribute to the realisation of their right to an inclusive education and lifelong learning as outlined in Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

There is a pressing need to address these issues to make sure people with Down syndrome in countries around the world receive the education they require to achieve their full potential. There has previously been no international best-practice guidance in this area.

The Guidelines:

  • have been written by educational professionals and experts in the field with input from our global network of members and stakeholders to ensure their global relevance and value;
  • provide best-practice guidance for learners, teachers and managers in pre-school, school and post-school education settings to promote life-long learning;
  • are an important starting point in enabling people with Down syndrome to receive the educational support needed to achieve their full potential and
  • will provide a global reference point and a lobbying tool for education professionals, learners, families and supporters, commissioners of services, national Down syndrome organisations, managers and charities to encourage adoption of best practice in their countries.

Some quotes about the guidelines from stakeholders

"I learned a lot from this document and enjoyed it very much. I highlighted sections to share with co-workers. There are many things that I see schools not doing and the recommendations would be fantastic."

"The guidelines will help 'guide' at all levels, from top level (policy, national training) to implementation at the classroom level."

"Situating all topics in scientific research conveys security and expands the possibility of deepening the subject. Anyone who reads it and puts it into practice can learn, make changes, and qualify its inclusive process."

What DSi will be doing next

We are currently promoting and disseminating the Guidelines throughout our global network, encouraging others to do the same.

We will be working with self-advocates, advocates of people with Down syndrome, professionals and affiliated organisations to implement the guidelines in countries across the world.

The Guidelines are just a starting point in this project.

We will be building on this work by creating information to accompany the Guidelines now and in the years to come. We will continue to advocate for quality inclusive education and develop resources, toolkits and training in collaboration with our national and regional members and other international strategic partners.

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Long term impact

Opening up opportunities for people with Down syndrome.

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

The Guidelines are an important starting point in enabling people with Down syndrome to receive the educational support needed to achieve their full potential. Education enhances life opportunities and quality of life. It promotes inclusion in society, interests and friendships and can facilitate greater independence and future employment. 

How you can help!

To read the guidelines, simply download here:

Download guidelines (PDF)

If you would like to learn about or take part in future DSi activities related to education, to help us put the recommendations of these guidelines into practice, please sign up here:

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If you can share details of this new publication on your media platforms, we would really appreciate it.

We need to to maximise the impact of the Guidelines by reaching as many stakeholders as possible, bringing them to the attention of parents, families, teachers, education leaders, authorities, bodies and institutions and of course policy makers. Use our simple toolkit:

Share using media toolkit (PDF)

Read about our other areas of work here: