World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated annually on the 21 March. It is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month. People with Down syndrome are born with an extra copy, a 3rd chromosome 21.

We encourage communities, schools, clubs, companies and individuals to choose their own activities and events to celebrate WDSD and to help raise awareness of this very special celebration. Together we can challenge perceptions of Down syndrome and enable people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and be respected as valued members of society as they strive to achieve their goals and pursue their passions. 

How can you help celebrate WDSD and raise awareness? 

We encourage everyone to raise awareness about WDSD in their school, community, club or workplace to get people talking about Down syndrome and help people #SeeTheAbility.  

It’s easy to do so come on, join in! Here are some ideas to get you started: 


Virtual Purple Run

Sign up for your own Purple Run challenge this March. Registration and T-shirt are FREE to all participants.


Wear #LotsOfSocks 

Ask your family, friends, students or colleagues to wear colourful, eye-catching and/or mismatched fun socks on the 21st March. The brighter and crazier the better! We have developed a LotsOfSocks poster for you to download and share. 

Donations are always needed and welcome.

Please share your photos and videos with us at @DownSyndromeIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Use the DSI hashtag and the official WDSD hashtags in your social media posts to help spread awareness this World Down Syndrome Day with DSI – #LotsOfSocks #WorldDownSyndromeDay #WDSD2021 #ShareTheJourney

Please ensure that you respect privacy when sharing photos, especially photos with minors. We advise you to follow your school or groups Data Protection policies prior to sharing on social media.

Get talking! 

WDSD falls on Sunday 21st March this year but we want to get people talking and encourage schools and groups to celebrate in the days leading up to it. Download our Primary School, Student Information and teaching resources for your classroom or community group and let’s get everyone talking to raise awareness


Here are some insightful books you can download which can provide opportunities for discussion:

In this wonderful book called Upside Down, The Story of My Brother James written by a young girl called Liadh Hanley.  In the book, Liadh shares her experiences of growing up a brother with Down syndrome. The aim of the book is to teach children how to appreciate and respect those with Down syndrome. 



“…more than medical” is a fascinating book that provides an insight into the realities of family life with a baby, child, teenager or adult with Down syndrome in today’s Ireland.



Positive, visible depictions of children with Down syndrome in a school or play environment are essential to support their inclusion and meaningful participation. This short children’s book Including Me was created by Graiguecullen Parish Childcare Centre.  



On March 21st, we invite you to get all your friends, family and colleagues involved, let’s get people talking on World Down Syndrome Day. 


#WorldDownSyndromeDay #WDSD2021 #SeeTheAbility #ShareTheJourney