Today we acknowledge those with Down syndrome, the most common chromosome disorder in the world. We also share ways that you can make a positive impact on attitudes towards the condition.
A genetic condition, not a disease
The DNA within our chromosomes determines how we develop as human beings. Each person has 46 chromosomes, and Down syndrome is caused when we’re born with 47.
There’s no real cause of Down syndrome and it affects people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. It develops at conception and consequently has no cure.
Further statistics about the condition can be found here.
It’s important to remember that Down syndrome isn’t a disease and those with the condition are people like everyone else. Therefore they are all unique with their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses.
People with Down syndrome possess the same needs and dreams as others, and deserve to be respected and included in the community.
How can you make a difference?
Everyone has the ability to empower those around them, and it starts with language. By being mindful and understanding of people with Down syndrome we change negative stereotypes and promote greater community inclusion.
Here are some things to note when communicating:
- Use terminology like ‘a person with Down syndrome’
- Avoid phrases like ‘afflicted by’ or ‘suffers from’
- Keep communication simple and engage directly with the person with Down syndrome
- Be patient and let them communicate or respond to you
You can find more ways to be inclusive here.
As a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for all people with disability, inclusivity is one of our passions. So today on World Down Syndrome Day, we encourage you to be mindful and use inclusive language where possible. Together, our actions will create positive change in the community.
For further info about our range of disability supports, contact us on 1800 610 665 or email us here.