Each year, a voice is given to those with Down syndrome and to those who live and work with them... And each year it grows louder
16 March 2016| Last updated on 28 June 2017
Observed on March 21st every year, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day, which has been officialy observed since 2012 by the United Nations.
The day encourages friends and supporters all over the world to choose activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people who have Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
Why is the date March 21st?
The date for WDSD on the 21st day of the 3rd month of the year signifies the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
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The history of WDSD
The day was first observed in 2006, with many countries around the world participating, and on December 2011, the United Nations declared 21st March as WDSD, and since 2012 has been officially observed every year.
Each year member states, relevant organisations of the UN system and other international organisations, as well as civil society, are invited to observe WDSD in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.
"Activities and events held on World Down Syndrome Day can have a tremendous impact, showcasing the abilities, talents and accomplishments of people with Down syndrome. I encourage you all to tell the world what you are doing to celebrate this important day."
Liam Neeson OBE, Oscar nominated actor, Patron - Down Syndrome International
The best way to find out how you can get involved in supporting WDSD is by checking your local Down syndrome charities, special need support groups or children clubs to see if there's anything being organised by the community that you can participate in.
For example, in Dubai, All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai organise a World Down Syndrome Day Walk every year!
You can also check the official World Down Syndrome Day website here, that maps events across the world by country to help you find something to get involved with. Here you can add your own event and tell everyone what you're doing in honour of WDSD.
All supporters are encouraged to lend their support via social media by liking, joining, attending, sharing, mentioning, tweeting, re-tweeting, viewing and subscribing on 21st March every year.
What is Down syndrome?
Down syndrome is a genetic condition, where individuals have one extra chromosome. And it is chromosome 21 that is extra, and is the reason why Down syndrome is also sometimes recognised as trisomy 21.