Today, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day, and this year, the eighth annual global awareness raising day, the theme is “Let Us In, I Want to Work.”
In the video below, 62 countries are represented by workers in mainstream jobs who just happen to have DS. I find it empowering to watch–not so much for those who face the stigma and employment oppression due to Down Syndrome, but empowering for the rest of us…or should I say dis-empowering for our fears or awkwardness or simple lack of understanding. That is the barrier–our ignorance. Not ability, not passion, not effectiveness…simply ignorance and being unaware.
There have been world events going on today on six continents, and a “Right to Work” international conference at the United Nations, plus some lighthearted fun in the form of socks. Yep, socks. Today, folks were encouraged to activate conversations by wearing brightly colored and mismatched socks, just to open up dialog and tell the world about WDSD.