World Down Syndrome Day is taking place today, with a wealth of events across the globe raising awareness – including "carpool karaoke" and an inclusive film competition.
You may have already seen a video of a "carpool karaoke" lip sync video in support of World Down Syndrome Day, which features 50 mums and their children singing along to Christina Perri track, A Thousand Years. The parents in the video (watch below) are all part of a Facebook group called Designer Genes, which was created for parents who have a child with Down’s Syndrome born in 2013 and 2014.
The video aims to show the world just how ordinary and fun life with Down's Syndrome is and their slogan is "Wouldn't Change a Thing". The parents and children used sign language in the video, which was originally inspired by Singing Hands, a UK organisation who's videos have helped many in the group learn Makaton signing.
Also in the UK, comedian and actress Sally Phillips (Miranda, Bridget Jones) – whose son Olly has Down's Syndrome – is backing a funding competition run by Videocamp film, whose winner will receive over £250,000 to create a film on the theme of “inclusive education”. The selected project will also be made available on Videocamp’s free catalog of social impact films, which has enabled 19,000 screenings in over 90 countries to date. The project has launched today to coincide with World Down Syndrome Day and entries are welcomed until 21 June.
And if you see people out and about today wearing odd socks, then give them a wave as hey are supporting Wold Down Syndrome Day too! Under the hashtag #LotsOfSocks you will find schools, hospitals and workplaces worldwide taking part in the wacky sock campaign.
In addition, as part of World Down Syndrome Day, the European Down Syndrome Association (EDSA) has asked their members all over Europe to submit personal statements to tell the world what people with Down's Syndrome bring to their communities. They have published 21 examples explaining how people with Down's Syndrome can and do make meaningful contributions whether in schools, workplaces, in social, political and public life, culture, media, leisure and sport to show the world how inclusiveness is improving lives. By using the hashtag #WDSD18 on social media, you can join in the conversation.
One example from a contributor in Scotland reads, "Sam works at Glasgow City College. She works in the canteen where she helps and serves the customers, as well as making sure everything is kept stocked and clean. She gets on really well with all of her colleagues. In her free time Sam likes to go to the cinema, go shopping and spend time with her friends."
Meanwhile, a conference called “What I bring to the workplace” also takes place on 21 March, when Down Syndrome International will bring together people with Down's, their supporters and advocates, senior representatives of major employers, experts in the field of disability employment, government and UN officials at United Nations Headquarters, New York.
For more information on World Down Syndrome Day see worlddownsyndromeday.org