Down Syndrome Ireland has recently appointed some of its adult members as official spokespersons.
Their role is to provide insight into what it means to have Down syndrome and to highlight the issues that are important to them, such as education, employment, having a political voice and independent living.
If you’d like to speak with them, contact us on 01 4266500 and see below some guidelines on handling an interview with a person with Down syndrome:
• Give notice. Where possible always give 24 hours’ notice of the interview.
• Be prepared. Send on question areas in advance so the individual can prepare.
• Avoid multi clausal questions – keep one theme / issue per question.
• Be patient. You may be tempted to finish a person’s sentences or ‘fill in’ words but this does not help. Maintain natural eye contact, listen, and wait patiently until the person has finished speaking.
• Be a good listener. Let the speaker know, by what you say and do, that you are listening. Try to actively convey a relaxed and accepting attitude as any obvious discomfort that you show will only increase the discomfort of the person.
• If you are not sure how to respond, ask the speaker – but always do this sensitively and in a way that leaves the speaker in control. This might involve asking an open question such as, “Is there anything I can do to make this easier for you”.
• In conclusion…Try to empower the person by offering a choice rather than imposing your solution. Always err on the side of being patient and giving the person the opportunity to speak for his/herself.
Down Syndrome Ireland values the support of the media in helping raise awareness and increase general understanding about what it means to have Down syndrome.
We are very happy to answer media requests, provide comment and arrange interviews with our Chief Executive, our Member Support Team, our National Advisory Council, our members and their families.
Get in Touch
If you would like to arrange an interview, please contact our Head of Communications Cathy Gray on 01 4266500 / 0860463702 or email email@example.com