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: 


Come join our Purple Run celebration in the Phoenix Park  (Postponed)

Purple Run is Down Syndrome Ireland’s celebration of World Down Syndrome Day where we encourage everyone to ‘Run with us, not for us’ – In the interest of public health and to help protect our members with Down syndrome, their families, our staff and volunteers from the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus, we have made the decision to postpone our planned World Down Syndrome Day celebrations in the Phoenix Park on March 22nd until further notice.


Wear #LotsOfSocks 

Ask your students, colleagues or friends to wear colourfulfun socks on the 21st March. The brighter and crazier the better! Why stop at socks? Wear brightly coloured clothes too, that will really get people talking! Whether you’re helping to raise awareness of this wonderful day of celebration or taking the opportunity to raise funds to support our work, we’d love you to get involved. 


Get talking! 

WDSD falls on Saturday 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 teaching resources for your classroom or community group and let’s get everyone talking.  


We also have a number of  books which you can use as a resource that can provide more opportunities for discussion:    

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 wonderful book which 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.  


Tell people what you’re doing 

Having a celebration on WDSD?  Let people know with this useful event poster or if you’d like to spread awareness of  WDSD with others, why not print out this poster to help spread the word.


Share your celebrations 

Share your photos, videos and events with us at @DownSyndromeIreland on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Use the DSI hashtag and the official WDSD hashtags in your social media posts and we will share them. 

#ShareTheJourney #SeeTheAbility #WDSD20 #WorldDownSyndromeDay 

*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. 


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