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4 October 2022

Thursday 20th October marks National Down syndrome Awareness Day, This national day has officially been
designated by our late president, Mr Nelson Mandela. It is a time to celebrate persons with Down syndrome and make others aware of their abilities and accomplishments.

Down syndrome is one of the most common occurring genetic conditions caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21,
known as Trisomy 21. This extra chromosome causes Down syndrome and alters the cause of development both
physically and cognitively. Each year DSSA and it’s affliates, raises public awareness about the condition and
advocates for acceptance and full inclusion of persons with Down syndrome in all spheres of life.

#INCLUSIONMEANS…I BELONG, is the theme chosen to mark this year’s celebration. In March this year we asked
families and persons with Down syndrome to tell us what Inclusion Means to them. It is the freedom to choose where and with whom to live, to have the choice to attend their local neigbouhood school, to be employed and earn an income because they have proven that they can and want to work, to be afforded the opportunity to participate in sports and cultural programmes on an equal basis as others. Most of all to be seen as more than their diagnosis, as human beings, worthy and capable of Xtra-ordinary things.


What is Down Syndrome Awareness Month?
Observed in October each year, Down Syndrome Awareness Month was started by the National Down Syndrome
Society in the 1980’s to spread awareness, advocacy, and inclusion throughout the country. In the spirit of celebrating the month, DSSA will, throughout October, focus on positive stories under the following weekly themes:

Week 1: InclusionMeans…I belong in a family
Week 2: InclusionMeans…I belong in my community
Week 3: InclusionMeans…I belong in a school/in a job
Week 4: InclusionMeans…I belong in sports/cultural programmes

What is our ask?
We are calling upon every individual, schools, companies, organisations and other entities to give a LITTLE and HELP spread awareness by showing how you are including persons with Down syndrome in your communities, in
your schools, in your workplace, in your sports and cultural clubs. Together we can all make a difference.

You can also show your support by wearing your jeans on 20 October (It’s all in the Genes) and making a donation
to support our work- Banking Details: Standard Bank, Account No: 202470695, Branch code: 051001

To see our work go to:


Please visit the official Government information portal for Coronavirus by clicking HERE

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