Ministry of Social Development commemorates World Down Syndrome Day

The Ministry of Social Development said it is joining the international community in commemorating World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) on March 21.

In a statement, Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox said she was pleased that the ministry’s work had been in line with the need to promote inclusion in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It is our goal and our commitment that people with disabilities continue to be included in all aspects of society, education, employment, sport, leisure and recreation.”

Cox added that the Department of Social Development and Family Services cannot achieve the inclusion of people with Down syndrome or any other disability without the collaboration of every department, statutory body, agencies, NGOs and above all every citizen.

The ministry said WDSD is dedicated to increasing awareness, inclusivity, advocacy and support for people with Down syndrome.

The ministry said the essence of WDSD is to raise awareness, change attitudes, raise expectations, support equality and champion inclusion. In other words, this day is essential to highlight that people with Down syndrome can achieve an optimal quality of life once they receive the necessary support. This facilitates their participation in society in general and the realization of their personal potential.

This year’s theme, “What does inclusion mean?” highlights the need for a pathway to disability inclusion in all areas. Inclusion is the attitude, tendency or policy of integrating all people into society, with the aim that all people can participate in, contribute to and benefit from all aspects of society.

Inclusion aims to ensure that all individuals or social groups, especially those who face segregation or marginalization, can have equal opportunities and opportunities to fulfill their potential as individuals.

The Department remains committed to promoting the inclusion of the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.

Joel C. Hicks