World Down Syndrome Day
Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that World Down Syndrome Day, on Wednesday March 21st, should help highlight the work being done by local and national Down Syndrome support groups to ensure that all those with Down Syndrome can be supported in helping achieving their full potential in life and full integration into their communities.
Mr Brady said:
"Most of us need to have a greater understanding of the health and psychological issues of young people and adults with Down Syndrome.
"Everyone with Down's Syndrome has fundamental rights that must be respected and defended including; the right to:
- Know that they have Down syndrome and what it will mean, explained in a way that is understandable,
- Teach others about Down syndrome,
- Not to be treated like babies or all alike just because they have Down Syndrome,
- Treated as adults, with respect and as equals,
- Not to be treated badly by other people, the government or the law,
- An equal part in society, to vote and to have the same chances as others,
- Be talked to and listened to about decisions that affect them.
"World Down Syndrome Day should be a springboard to promote a greater understanding of the unique strengths and weaknesses of those with DS around such issues as expressive language, self talk, sensitivity to others, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, visual memory, and self esteem. It is vital to encourage and enable people to find innovative ways to improve life for people with Down Syndrome.
"There is a continued need for further research and analysis into the complexity of issues involved.
"People with disabilities are entitled to equality of opportunity and life. Discrimination has to be fought in all its aspects." ENDS