World Down Syndrome Congress 2015

The World Down Syndrome Congress gives participants from countries across the globe the opportunity to meet, share knowledge, experiences and perhaps open new frontiers in improving the lives of people with Down’s syndrome.

The 2015 theme was Panchtatvas – Social Awareness & Self Determination, Health, Education & Employment, Support System, Rights and the Law for people with Down’s Syndrome.

The Congress opened with the world premiere of ‘Langdon Down, The Legacy’, a short film about the extraordinary Victorian building in London which is our main offices.

Built by Dr John Langdon Down in 1868 as a place where people with learning disabilities could be cared for and educated, it is widely regarded as the ‘spiritual home’ of Down’s Syndrome:

The scientific programme included keynote lectures, state of the art sessions and workshops by international experts, addressing topics such as social inclusion, rights, education, health and employment.

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Carol Boys at WDSC2015

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WDSC2015 Opening Ceremony

Running in parallel with the scientific programme, people with Down’s syndrome and their family members will share their knowledge and experiences in concurrent sessions.

Following on from the conferences held in Cape Town and Dublin,  the successful and popular interactive workshop for adults with Down’s syndrome called PANCHAYAT (developed especially for adults with Down’s syndrome) provides a platform for voicing wishes and desires, exchanging ideas, and forming friendships.

Carol Boys, Gillian Bird and Sheila Heslam from the DSA UK gave presentations on:

Diagnosis and Early Intervention/Early Stimulationhow children are stimulated through interaction and play and how information for meeting specific needs can be shared. The implications of research into early hearing loss and language abilities will be discussed.

Establishing the DSA UK Helpline:how the helpline started and the interaction between the helpline and development of DSA resources, along with the use of information technology which supports the helpline and extends its usefulness.

Social inclusion at school:teaching practices that lead to children and young people being successfully included in their community schools. Focusing on the importance of understanding individual development & needs , the presentation will also outline new resources being developed for practitioners and parents. 

Early intervention – a family affair:a discussion about early intervention, in particular how families can help their children through normality and moderation. The session will include examples of ordinary play and early learning activities & explain how these promote development.

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Sheila Heslam at WDSC2015

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Gillian Bird at WDSC2015