Down Syndrome Research Forum

The Down Syndrome Research Forum is an international annual event where academic researchers and professional practitioners have the opportunity to showcase their current research.

Down Syndrome Ireland are very proud to have been selected to present on the recent work of the Member Support Team.

As an organisation we have had to adapt and change throughout the pandemic, and could have shared our journey on many topics, but the four presentations that we will give are:

  • The See and Learn Project
  • The Work Skills Course
  • Ability Online
  • Experiences of families in inclusive education in Ireland

 

We are very proud that the work of Down Syndrome Ireland will be shared on an international stage and that we can highlight the successes of our members after a challenging year.

The forum is typically an in-person event which happens annually in the U.K. Usually we have the capacity to send just one representative from DSI, but as this year the forum has moved online, the whole Member Support Team will attend, and we’re very excited to be able to listen to the latest developments.

As well as presenting at the online forum we will also be listening to what is happening in the world of Down syndrome and look forward to feeding back what we learn to our members.

One of the things we will highlight in our presentations is how we measured the impact of any large programme.

In See and Learn, this was by tracking vocabulary development (a big thank you to everyone that participated, and an even bigger one to people who have filled in checklists and surveys which must have seemed endless!).

In the Work Skills course, we met with each student at the beginning, and were planning to meet them at the end to see how their understanding of work and work-related concepts had changed as they learned new ideas, concepts and skills.

With Ability Online, we focused on self assessment: how people were feeling, what they needed, how confident they were at using their voice and their skills, and it was interesting to see how this changed over just 10 weeks.

Hearing the experiences of families with children who have Down syndrome in inclusive primary education is not a DSI project, it’s Fidelma’s Ph.D. thesis, and we’re all really interested to hear what she found through interviews with parents. (And looking forward to calling her Dr. Brady one of these days!)

The next two days will be intense, but hopefully very interesting. Once we’ve had time to take it all in, we’ll make sure that key information is shared with you.