The Upside

Welcome to The Upside

The Upside is a lens of positivity that focuses on the benefits a more inclusive society brings to both people with Down syndrome and the country as a whole.

Featuring real people, real issues and facts, we will show the value that including people with Down syndrome brings to the economy, society and the spirit of communities and the nation as a whole.

However we know there is still a ways to go on our journey to inclusion.  So as well as showing the benefits for all when people with Down syndrome are included, we will also highlight the gaps and barriers still in place to achieving this goal while outlining the steps and actions that people can take.

Dublin Mural - "Don't Talk Down To Me" by Joe Castlin

Launched on July 7th on the corner of Harcourt Street and Clonmel Street in Dublin’s City Centre, “Don’t Talk Down to Me” features Amanda Butler and is a celebration that invites the wider Irish community to accept people with Down syndrome and help create a more inclusive society for Ireland as a nation.

As artist Joe Caslin said at the launch:

“Amanda invites you into her world -she asks you to consider her, her Down syndome and the positive presence she can bring to a space, a place of work, a neighbourhood or indeed a city.”  

Excited to be part of the campaign Amanda said, “I am so excited to be part of Down Syndrome Ireland’s anniversary. I am grateful I have been given the chance to shine.

Cork Mural - "The UpSide Wall" by Paul La Rocque

As part of Down Syndrome Irelands 50th celebrations campaign and to mark Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the launch of ‘The UpSide Wall’ at Cork City Library celebrates the vibrancy and joy members of the organsition who feature in the artwork – John Sweetman, Harry Brassel and Lily Aitkenson – bring to the people they interact with or meet in everyday life. The wall incorporates aspects of photography, pop art and messaging around the #21Demands that we are lobbying this Government for to bring about real change in achieving disability rights in this country.

Minister Simon Coveney and Cork’s Lord Mayor Colm Kelleher launched the 10ft mural spanning the length of the building on October 15th.

John Sweetman, who appears in the mural and also celebrated his birthday on the same day the wall was launched, said:

“Seeing my face on the mural has helped make my 51st birthday extra special today. The branch has been a great support to me and my family and to lots of other families in Cork.”  

Sligo Mural - "Embrace Diversity" by Damien Moran

Sligo Mural - "Embrace Diversity" by Damien Moran

This vibrant mural in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo by local artist Damien Moran was launched on November 2nd and was attended by President Michael D Higgins, who is Patron of Down Syndrome Ireland, and his wife Sabina.

The 30ft mural – entitled Embrace Diversity – features two people of different generations with Down syndrome and is situated in the middle of the town at the entrance to swift lane walkway, kindly donated by a local businessman and restaurateur Ahmal Hasan.

The two people who feature in the mural include 8-year-old Nova Clancy from Gurteen Co Sligo and 29-year-old Sammy Kratschmar from Walkinstown.

President Michael D Higgins said:

“I would like to congratulate Down Syndrome Ireland on reaching its 50th anniversary and to thank all those who have given their time over the last half century to ensure that there are services and supports in place for those with Down syndrome and their families.”

The Upside is a website, a social media campaign, a resource, a celebration, a call to arms… a movement.

 

Using positivity and visibility we will drive conversations that are needed to be had in order to make Ireland more accessible and equitable for people with Down syndrome. We are setting out to shift mindsets, challenge stereotypes and show The Upside for all when people with Down syndrome are included in society in a meaningful way.

The Upside is a new campaign from Down Syndrome Ireland that shines a light on four key aspects of life for people with Down syndrome. These are health, education, employment and life in the community.

Read more about our Tubbercurry, Co Sligo mural launch which was attended by President Michael D. Higgins, patron of Down Syndrome Ireland, and his wife Sabina as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations

Read more about our Cork City mural launch by Minister Simon Coveney – featuring Cork branch members from across the generations in celebration of our 50th anniversary. 

Read more about Artist Paul La Rocque’s commemorative 10ft artwork featured over Cork City Library – created to highlight the 21 Demands sought by Down Syndrome Irelands members.

Read more about the 50-year anniversary, the launch of our new campaign/report – The UpSide that highlights the value of inclusion for people with Down syndrome in Ireland.

Read more about our campaign and the 60ft mural ‘Don’t Talk Down to Me’ by artist Joe Caslin featuring Amanda Butler. 

How you can get involved