Today (3/21) is World Down Syndrome Day. What does that mean? Well, it’s a day to raise awareness, around the world, about Down syndrome. It’s a time to share about all the awesome accomplishments of individuals with Down syndrome. It’s an opportunity for advocates, like me, to try and show others that my son and his peers are equal and able members of our communities.
The most important thing you can do, to observe World Down Syndrome Day, is to think about how you might promote inclusion for an individual with Down syndrome. Deep down, that is what every individual with Ds wants: to be regarded as a peer, as an equal participant, as someone who can contribute. With the help of their families and friends, they are working so hard for inclusion, for something that anyone who is not considered “different” is readily handed.
We’ll get there. Some day, the voice of the Down syndrome community will be so powerful that we will help everyone understand how important inclusion is, not just for those with Ds and their families, but for everyone. Inclusion matters.