Our group has been running for many years, and the world and this district are now much more aware of the wonderful lives our children and adults with Down’s syndrome live – how they can contribute; how they can be fulfilled; how they can have loving relationships; how they are the same but different, and how much they can teach us all.
It is easy to continue this, to raise awareness and to make things much better and much more inclusive – we do it simply by ‘being’.
We get involved, we take our kids out there, we push for services and support when necessary. We join clubs and groups, we recognise the difficulties that sometimes arise, but always look to resolve them positively. We celebrate the many, many successes our kids have, and we love them for who and what they are.
Most importantly, we celebrate the fact that our children and adults with DS are ‘the same but different’.
We use social media to share our approach – we have a public Facebook page which now has over 1,500 “likes”, on which we post positive messages raising awareness. Our Family Fun Day is our annual celebration of World Down’s Syndrome Day – a fabulous event where thousands of people come to share activities and fun with us. We have participated in local events such as the Normanton Gala to raise our public profile as a group.
We have taken part in specific events to raise awareness to professionals – such as the Tell It Right campaign of midwife training focussing on delivering the first diagnosis – and we plan to run sessions as part of local teacher training courses. We have hosted training events such as our conference, and Reading and Language Intervention training, which have educated a wide range of professionals in specific areas relating to DS alongside raising awareness of general issues.
We are proud of our group members, and will continue to knock down the myths around DS and give our community a brighter future through better understanding.