What are the World Down Syndrome Awards?

The World Down Syndrome Awards are given to projects, achievements, or practices that make the lives of people with Down syndrome better. The awards committee wants to celebrate projects, achievements, or practices that are in line with these principles:

  • People with Down syndrome should be included equally in all parts of community life and have the same opportunities as everyone else.
  • People with Down syndrome have the same rights as everyone else, as described in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The World Down Syndrome Awards are organized by Down Syndrome International (DSi), a global network of people with Down syndrome and their families. The winning projects, achievements, and practices will be presented at the World Down Syndrome Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in March 2024.

World Down Syndrome Awards 2023

Over 200 people were nominated for the first-ever World Down Syndrome Awards. The awards committee, which included people with Down syndrome and their family members from around the world, was very impressed with all the nominees. They enjoyed learning about all the work that is being done to make the lives of people with Down syndrome better.

So, we would like to begin by congratulating all of the nominees and to thank the people involved for all of the work you are doing. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination for sharing these wonderful examples with us.

The awards committee has chosen 5 awardees for 2023.

The awardees:

Awardee: Students for Inclusion, University of Malaga (Spain)

Issue: Inclusive Education

In 2020, 16 high school students from Spain joined with researchers from the University of Malaga to create 'Students for Inclusion'.

Some of the students in the group are people with Down syndrome.

They have been pushing for inclusive high schools by sharing student stories, making a 'how to make your school inclusive' guide, and advocating to the government and in the media.

"Nobody is more than any other; however, everyone is better with others."

Find out more about 'Students for Inclusion' on their web page:


Awardee: "INployable", Canadian Down Syndrome Society (Canada)

Issue: Inclusive Employment

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society partnered with LinkedIn on INployable, an employment network for people with Down syndrome.

It helps to connect inclusive employers to people with Down syndrome actively searching for work.

This is the first network like this on LinkedIn, the biggest online professional network.

Candian Down Syndrome Society is running a campaign to promote the network.

Learn more about 'INployable' on the CDSS website:


Awardee: La Casa de Carlota (Spain)

Issue: Inclusive Employment

La Casa de Carlota is a design studio that includes people with intellectual disabilities on their team. 

They've shown that when everyone thinks differently and works together, they come up with amazing ideas.

They've won awards, written a book, and talked about including everyone at United Nations meetings.

Learn more about La Casa de Carlota on their website:


Awardee: "Make Your Voice Heard!", Trisomie 21 (France)

Issue: Inclusive Employment

In this project, Trisomie 21 France trains people with Down syndrome to build their self-advocacy skills to speak up about employment.

This includes speaking up at work and doing awareness raising with businesses.

The awareness raising is aimed at finding inclusive work opportunities for people with Down syndrome in France.

88% of people with Down syndrome said they would like to work in an inclusive workplace. However, very few currently have this opportunity.

Learn more about 'Make Your Voice Heard on the Trisomie 21 France website:


Awardee: Down Syndrome Advisory Network, Down Syndrome Australia (Australia)

Issue: Inclusive Organisations

The Down Syndrome Advisory Network is a group of people with Down syndrome that advises Down Syndrome Australia.

It has been working as a leadership team with Down Syndrome Australia for six years.

The group meets monthly and helps advise on all of Down Syndrome Australia's project work.

They also teach people with Down syndrome about their rights and how to speak in public.

The Down Syndrome Advisory Network ensure that the voice of people with Down syndrome is at the heart of what Down Syndrome Australia does.

Learn more about the Down Syndrome Advisory Network on the Down Syndrome Australia website:


Congratulations to all of the awardees.

The next awards nominations will open on World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March 2024. Sign up to hear from us about how you can nominate a person or group that you think we should celebrate.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible for an Award?

The Awards are for projects, achievements, or practices that make the lives of people with Down syndrome better.

We have two categories for the Awards:

  • Awards for self-advocates or self-advocacy groups.
  • Awards for other individuals, groups, or organisations.
    Some examples of individuals are family members, advocates, paid staff, or researchers.
    Some examples of groups or organisations are organisations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, nonprofits, businesses, or universities.

What kind of projects, achievements, or practices are you looking for?

We are looking for projects, achievements, or practices that make the lives of people with Down syndrome better in one of these four areas:

  • Inclusive Education
  • Inclusive Employment
  • Inclusive Health
  • Inclusive Organisations

How can I nominate a project, achievement or practice?

Nominations will be open each year from 21 March to the end of June. 

You will need to complete our nomination form, which will ask you questions about the project, achievement, or practice.

You will need to provide evidence of how the project, achievement, or practice is making the lives of people with Down syndrome better.

How will the Awards be chosen?

All applications will be assessed against the Award Criteria by the Down Syndrome International team.

Then a shortlist of the best applications will be reviewed by an expert panel, including people with Down syndrome from around the world.

When is the deadline for Award nominations to be submitted?

To be confirmed. Nominations are currently closed.

When will the Awards be announced?

The Awards will be announced in October as part of Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

What are the benefits of receiving an Award?

We will present videos of all the projects, achievements, or practices that receive Awards at the World Down Syndrome Conference.

The Conference takes place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York around the 21 March, or World Down Syndrome Day.

The projects, achievements, or practices will also be featured on Down Syndrome International’s website and shared with the entire network and its supporters.

Can Awardees attend the World Down Syndrome Conference in person?

Yes, we will be very happy for Awardees to attend the Conference, but DSi is unable to help with costs as we are a small organisation with limited resources.

Any more questions?

Please complete the contact form here:


If you like what you have seen, why not sign up to join our network?

Learn - find out what needs to change in the world so that all people with Down syndrome are fully included in society.

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