The United Nations officially observed World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) as a global awareness day since 2012.
aim of this day is to celebrate the lives and achievements of people with Down syndrome, as well as to advocate for their rights, inclusion and well-being.
The theme for WDSD 2023 is “With Us Not For Us”, which emphasizes the importance of involving people with Down syndrome in decision-making processes that affect them.
T21 FSO various services and programs
One of the organizations that is actively supporting this theme and making a difference in the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families is T21 Families Support Organization (T21 FSO) in USA.
Parents of children with Down syndrome founded T21 FSO, a non-profit organization, in 2015, and it has since grown to over 350 members. It provides various services and programs to people with Down syndrome and their families, such as:
- Education and awareness: T21 FSO organizes workshops, seminars, conferences and campaigns to educate the public and professionals about Down syndrome, and to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities faced by people with Down syndrome. T21 FSO also participates in the global Lots Of Socks campaign, which encourages people to wear mismatched socks on WDSD to start a conversation about Down syndrome.
- Advocacy and empowerment: T21 FSO advocates for the rights and responsibilities of people with Down syndrome, and empowers them to participate in social, economic and political activities. T21 FSO also supports the Down Syndrome International Network campaign, which is calling for the right to legal capacity for people with Down syndrome. Legal capacity means you have the right to make your own decisions and choices, and the law recognizes you as a person.
- Support and networking: T21 FSO offers psychosocial support and counseling to people with Down syndrome and their families, and connects them with other members and partners who can provide assistance and guidance. T21 FSO also facilitates peer-to-peer learning and sharing of experiences among people with Down syndrome and their families through online platforms such as WhatsApp groups.
T21 FSO plans on series of events and activities
This Family Support Organization has been lauded for its efforts and achievements by various stakeholders, including doctors, government officials, non-governmental organizations and media outlets. T21 FSO has also received recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO) as a model of good practice in providing community-based support to people with Down syndrome.
On WDSD 2023, T21 FSO plans to host a series of events and activities to celebrate the day and to promote the theme of “With Us Not For Us”. Some of these events include:
- A virtual conference featuring speakers from different sectors who will share their perspectives and insights on how to involve people with Down syndrome in decision-making processes that affect them.
- A social media campaign using the hashtags #WithUsNotForUs and #WorldDownSyndromeDay to spread the message of inclusion and empowerment of people with Down syndrome.
- A fundraising drive to support the ongoing programs and services of T21 FSO, as well as to launch new initiatives that will benefit people with Down syndrome and their families.
T21 FSO invites everyone to join them in celebrating WDSD 2023, and to support their vision of having a community that values advocacy, inclusion, acceptance and independent living for people with Down syndrome.
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