“On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all.” -UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day (A/RES/66/149). The General Assembly decided, with effect from 2012, to observe World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March each year, and invites all Member States, relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other international organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to observe World Down Syndrome Day in an appropriate manner, in order to raise public awareness of Down syndrome.
-UN World Down Syndrome Day proclamation
MDSN is so excited to join hundreds of other organizations around the world in celebrating World Down Syndrome Day. Begun in 2005 by World Down Syndrome International, World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is held each year on March 21 (3/21 – for three-copies of the 21st chromosome, the cause of Down syndrome).
We have celebrated in many ways over the years, from restaurant fundraisers, to sports games. 2019’s celebration will took place with the Maine Mariners, at their March 17 game.
In 2015 to honor of World Down Syndrome Day, seven national Down syndrome organizations began promoting “Random Acts of Kindness” in the United States.
Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, International Down Syndrome Coalition, International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association, Lumind Foundation, National Down Syndrome Society, and National Down Syndrome Congress combined to create a toolkit for WDSD that you can use to share information about Down syndrome with your community, celebrate people with Down syndrome, and spread a little love and kindness in the name of Down syndrome!
It’s as easy as 1-2-3-4!
- On March 21st, wear a t-shirt that says something about Down syndrome. (MDSN’s World DS Day shirt, or Buddy Walk shirt are both good ideas).
- Choose an act of kindness, like taking cookies to a fire station, or checking in on an elderly neighbor (we have a list of suggestions to help get you started!)
- Print a WDSD postcard (like the one below) and give it out or place it with your Random Act.
- Take pictures of the random act and post on your social media pages with the hashtag #WDSD19. We’ll have people on the receiving end of our kindness, and the whole world watching on Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s make this the biggest, best World Down Syndrome Day yet!
Random Act of Kindness Postcard
Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in your classroom!
- National Down Syndrome Society has prepared a great lesson plan for your use. Find it here
- Questions and Answers about Down syndrome
- Just Like You Down Syndrome is a wonderful video to share with older elementary, middle, and high schoolers. There are discussion guides, bookmarks, and other resources available to help facilitate discussion. Find all that info here.
More Resources for your Celebrations!
Find toolkits from World Down Syndrome Day and Down Syndrome International here.