We are developing international guidelines in employment for people with Down syndrome to promote employment opportunities around the world and to contribute to the realisation of their right to be included in the workplace as outlined in Article 27 of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The challenge

Experience in many countries shows that with the right opportunities, support and training people with Down syndrome can make valued contributions in the workplace. However, stereotypes, mistaken assumptions, negative attitudes and lack of knowledge are precluding them from employment.

There is a pressing need to address these issues and to uphold their right to work by facilitating and promoting work opportunities for people with Down syndrome across the world and to thereby improve their life circumstances and quality of life. There is currently no international best-practice guidance in this area.

What we are doing

DSi will be working with international employment experts, Down syndrome and intellectual disability organisations, current employers of people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities and stakeholders from our global network to produce best-practice guidance. A broad-spectrum review of employment processes and programmes will be provided, to include guidance about:

  • Finding job opportunities and willing employers;
  • Processes to ensure that the employment is the ‘right fit’ for the employee and the employer;
  • Training and support for people with Down syndrome and the employer prior and following job placement. 

Long term impact 

Great benefits to employers as well as for people with Down syndrome.

For people with Down syndrome, employment provides an income, a sense of identity, contribution and belonging and establishes additional relationships and interests.

Organisations are finding people with Down syndrome to be loyal, diligent employees who can contribute to the flourishing of businesses, have a positive impact on colleagues and improve morale in the workplace.

We will disseminate guidance information on best-practice in employment via our global network to Down syndrome and intellectual disability organisations and to relevant employment organisations.

They will provide a global reference point for employees and employers, to achieve successful employment and to change negative perceptions around the world.

Read about our other areas of work here: