It’s World Down Syndrome Day!
World Down Syndrome Day, observed on 21 March every year, is a global event which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Down syndrome is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement. People with Down syndrome do not need pity and they don’t need a cure. But they do experience barriers such as bullying and stigma, so they need support, understanding, and opportunities to live a full life. The diversity they bring to society makes all of our communities stronger.
It has been a LiveWorkPlay tradition for Paul Knoll to act as spokesperson for World Down Syndrome Day. In recent years he has asked to add a co-chair and share the microphone with Daniel Pinsonneault and others. Here is a modified version of the speech they gave together in 2018.
Hello, my name is Daniel Pinsonneault, and I am happy to be the co-chair for the LiveWorkPlay celebration of World Down Syndrome Day.
In 2012 the United Nations decided World Down Syndrome Day would be celebrated every year on March 21st. This year’s theme is called WHAT I BRING TO MY COMMUNITY.
The United Nations decided on March 21st as the date for this celebration because if you are a person with Down syndrome, it means your 21st chromosome is different, and usually it means we have an extra copy of chromosome 21.
So, stay calm everyone, it’s just an extra chromosome.
And now, I would like to introduce my co-chair, Paul Knoll.
Thank you very much Daniel for helping me celebrate World Down Syndrome Day this year.
Like Daniel said, this year’s theme is WHAT I BRING TO MY COMMUNITY. Well, I’m retired from my job at CMHC, but Daniel here is still working, and I bet just about everyone in the room knows someone with Down syndrome who contributes to their community. They might be a co-worker, a friend, a volunteer, a neighbour, or a teammate.
So, let’s finish up with a test. We usually do this with a bunch of people in the same room, but since we are all keeping our community safe with physical distancing in 2020, we can do it at home instead!
If you know someone with Down syndrome who contributes in your community, please stand up, or if standing isn’t good for you, please raise your hand, give a shout, or celebrate in whatever way works for you!
So, once again, please stand up or raise your hands or celebrate in the way that works for you if you know someone with Down syndrome who contributes in your community.
Fantastic, I can tell that you are all standing, raising your hands, and celebrating in different ways. Now if we just clap, stomp our feet, give a shout, or wave our hands, we have a huge celebration of World Down Syndrome Day in living rooms all over the planet!
Thank you everyone, the LiveWorkPlay community is a great example to the world about how to welcome and include all citizens, and how we communicate this to the rest of the world is how we help change the world!