About Down's Syndrome : Awareness Week 2021 #Connect

This year we are celebrating the power of connections and
highlighting how you can #CONNECT and make a difference…

 

Our Voice


Our Voice is a collection of services, projects, and activities that we provide connecting people who have Down’s syndrome from around the country with the Down’s Syndrome Association.

It is an opportunity for people who have Down’s syndrome to speak up and have their voices heard.

Our aim is to create an inclusive environment where everyone can participate and contribute to the DSA’s work.

We conduct self-advocacy activities through our groups and weekly Zoom sessions – many of which are led by people who have Down’s syndrome.

What the DSA believes:

  • Everyone should be included and able to participate in our work.
  • People who have Down’s syndrome are experts by experience and should be involved in our decision-making.
  • By working together we will think of new ideas and make resources that people want.
  • Everyone’s stories and voices should be heard.

Find out more about how you can get involved here.

See the Our Voice team in action…

Several members created videos telling us how they had found 2020:

 

Our Stories


We love sharing the stories of people who have Down’s syndrome! 

Thanks to everyone who sent in videos about how they’ve been keeping connected! Lindsey and Maya have told us how they’ve been staying connected! Watch all the films here:

Over the course of the week we’ll be releasing new episodes in our Shifting Perspectives podcast…and they all feature interviews with amazing people who have Down’s syndrome.

You can listen to previous episodes here.

 

Our Voice member Alexandra recently interviewed Reece about his role in his Mum’s business:

You can hear from lots more people who have Down’s syndrome on our YouTube channel.

Almost every week since the first lockdown began, DSA employee Kate Powell has written a blog post about what she’s been up to. You can read them all, as well as stories that people who have Down’s syndrome have shared throughout the last year, here.

Do you have a story to tell?

We’d love to hear from you and help you #connect with people across the UK and overseas. Just drop us an email on DSAPress.Office@downs-syndrome.org.uk

 

Become part of ‘The Hiring Chain’


This year’s fantastic World Down Syndrome Day video from CoorDown has a simple and joyful message at its heart…and it’s sung by the 17-Time Grammy Award winning artist Sting!

The film’s message to employers all over the world is that hiring a person who has Down’s syndrome not only changes the life of the person concerned, but can trigger a virtuous circle of new opportunities for everyone.

Launching alongside the catchy and inspiring film is a website that will help potential employers make it happen. Our WorkFit programme is signposted on the site and we are hoping that the film encourages more potential employers to sign up. We are very happy to be supporting CoorDown again this year.

Please share the film with your colleagues, employers, networks and friends, help spread the message and become part of the #hiringchain.

 

DSEngage


DSEngage is a series of regular, free live events alongside on-demand video and downloadable activities for all ages.

Sessions include yoga and pilates lessons, fitness challenges and classes, dance classes, disco and music events, craft and cooking demonstrations and Makaton singalongs.

The live events #CONNECT people from around the country, bringing people together and creating a community of friends joining in with the same activities. Even small amounts of activity can make a significant difference in your overall health and well-being.

Find out more about what’s on offer here.

Our DSEngage programme has inspired some amazing films from people who have Down’s syndrome…check out Dyfed!

 

Support, training and information


Our team of Information Officers and specialist advisers are here to provide support and information to anyone…and #CONNECT in a wide variety of ways:

Call 0333 1212 300 | Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm

Email info@downs-syndrome.org.uk

Ask a question on one of our closed Facebook groups.

 

New FREE online support sessions for parents and carers

We are thrilled to announce that we have set up a new online support group for new and expectant parents of babies who have Down’s syndrome.

There will be eight meetings in total and through these meetings, you will meet our team and can ask questions on any topic, including development, communication and benefits.

Find out more and register now.

 

Finding the time to recharge the batteries can be difficult and so these free fortnightly sessions will offer an opportunity to unwind and relax in a friendly and non-judgmental group with people who understand.

The session will be facilitated by Jane Mitchell who is a Learning Disability Nurse and Mindfulness Teacher and will include guided mindfulness practices as well as other well-being activities with time to share and reflect.

Find out more and sign up for the next session here.

 

These free fortnightly sessions offer the opportunity to share your experience around behaviour in children and adults who have Down’s syndrome.

Each session will be facilitated, with a focus on collaboration and sharing rather than an ‘ask the expert’ format. The sessions will be structured around a positive behavioural support model.

Jane Mitchell who facillitates the sessions, has written a Q&A about the sessions that you can read here.

Find out more and sign up for the next session here.

 

We are also now offering a wide selection of online training sessions.

Subjects include Early Years and Primary Education, Secondary Education, Supporting Early Development: From Birth to 4 years, and Supporting Behaviour Positively: Children 3 to 11 years with more dates on other subjects coming soon.

Each session only costs £10.

See all the details of what is on offer here.

 

More about Down’s syndrome