A selection of UN TV programmes, webcasts and video clips on issues in the news

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

World Down Syndrome Day 2012


On World Down Syndrome Day 2012 self-advocates from Australia, Brazil, Peru, Spain and United States and specialists from every continent will discuss inclusive education, human rights and political participation, independent living, how to work with the media and scientific research, among other topics, in the first celebration of World Down Syndrome day at the UN Headquarters in New York.


10:00 - 10:30am Opening Remarks and Launch of World Down Syndrome Day
Penny Robertson OAM – Chair of Board of Trustees, Down Syndrome International (DSi) – Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, – United Nations Deputy Secretary-General – Message on WDSD
Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti – Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations
Ambassador Witold Sobkow – Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations
Diana Stolfo – Self-advocate, National Down Syndrome Society

1) 10:30am – 11:00am UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Inclusion - The Importance of Global Coordination Efforts to Promote the Convention
Akiko Ito – Chief, Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities/DSPD/DESA, United Nations (Moderator)
Rosangela Berman-Bieler – Senior Adviser on Children with Disabilities, UNICEF – The Convention and inclusive education
Penny Robertson – DSi - Promoting inclusion in schools in Indonesia
Shona Robertson – Australia, Self-advocate – My education…my life
Thiago Rodrigues – Brazil, Self-advocate, Carpe Diem Association – Communicating and understanding

2) 11:00am - 11:30am Human Rights and Political Participation of Self-Advocates
Emily Perl Kingsley – USA, Author of “Welcome to Holland” – (Moderator)
Jason Kingsley – USA, Self-advocate/Author – Growing up with Down syndrome
Maria Alejandra Villanueva Contreras – Peru, Self-advocate – Fighting for the right to vote
David Egan – USA, Self-advocate – Congressional advocacy: “One of us and not one among us”
Ester Nadal Tarrago – Spain, Self-advocate – Understanding the Convention

3) 11:30am - 12:00pm Changing Society Attitudes - From Neglect to Protagonist and Living in the Community
Jessamy Tang – USA, Down Syndrome International – (Moderator)
Rose Mordi – Nigeria, President of Down Syndrome Association Nigeria – Social attitudes in Africa
K.S. Sripathi – India, Down Syndrome Association of Tamil Nadu – State of Inclusion in India
Tom Forester – USA, Residential Services, ACDS – Supporting safe independence
Michael Brennan – USA, Self-advocate – Living my life

4) 12:00pm - 12:30pm The Power of Media – A Guide to Work with the Media to Promote Inclusion
Michelle Whitten – USA, Global Down Syndrome Foundation – How to get media attention in a positive, constructive way
Patricia Almeida – Brazil, MetaSocial Institute – Occupy the Media – (Moderator)
Tatiana Heiderich – Brazil/Holland, Self-advocate – Her experience as a TV reporter

5) 12:30pm - 1:30pm Care and Treatment – Improving Quality of Life
Dr. Jose Florez – Mass Gen Hospital, Adult and Adolescent DS Clinic – Caring for adults with Down syndrome: Preparing now for a healthy future
Dr. Brian Chicoine – Adult DS Center, Lutheran Gen Hospital – Living Longer, Living Healthier
Dr. Dennis McGuire – Psychosocial Services, Adult DS Center, Lutheran Gen Hosp – Promoting Mental Health

6) 1:30pm - 2:00pm Research – Latest Down Syndrome News
Dr. Edward McCabe – Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome – Exciting new era
Margie Doyle – Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF) – Latest news on research and how to help it move faster

2:00pm - 2:30pm – Launch:
· DSi 2012 WDSD Global Video Event – Let us in - I want to learn!
· New WDSD Website
· DSi UN Convention Global Outreach Programme

Book Signing
There will be a book signing at the end of the conference.
· “Change the way you speak and I will change the way I understand” – By Carolina Yuki Fijihira, Ana Beatriz Pierre Paiva, Beatriz Ananias Giordano, Carolina de Vecchio Maia, Carolina Reis Costa Golebski, Claudio Aleoni Arruda, Thiago Rodrigues, by Carpe Diem Association, with the support of Secretary of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, São Paulo State, Brazil.
· “The United Nations International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities commented by its Protagonists” – By Down España, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.

World Down Syndrome Day was proclaimed in 2011 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 66/149, to be observed annually. The resolution was proposed and promoted by Brazil, and co-sponsored by 78 UN Member States. From 2012 onwards the date will be celebrated by all 193 UN Member States. To learn about the resolution process at the UN, visit: The resolution is available at:

“Building Our Future” Conference
The “Building Our Future” Conference is sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Brazil to the United Nations, Permanent Mission of Poland to the United Nations, UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities/DSPD/DESA, and UNICEF and organized by Down Syndrome International. It is a momentous opportunity for the world to come together to show support for the Day and listen to self-advocates with Down syndrome express their concerns, hopes and dreams. We expect that this first World Down Syndrome Day recognized by the UN, will help create a trend of self-advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities, thus promoting their individual autonomy and full and effective participation in society, in accordance with the principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

About World Down Syndrome Day
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was first established by Down Syndrome International and celebrated since 2006, being observed in over 60 countries around the world. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness and increase the understanding about Down syndrome, to promote the inherent rights and dignity of persons with Down syndrome to enjoy full and dignified lives and to recognize the worth and valuable contributions of people with Down syndrome (DS). The Day also works to ensure the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in every aspect of their community and society, in general. For more information about WDSD, visit

Down Syndrome International
Down Syndrome International (DSi) is an international charity, comprised of memberships from individuals and organisations from all over the World. Members include people with Down syndrome, parents, family members, friends, care givers, professionals, practitioners, researchers, organisations and more. DSi’s mission is to improve quality of life and champion the rights of people with Down syndrome worldwide, raise standards of care, and provide a platform for people with Down syndrome to live full and rewarding lives. DSi believes this can only be achieved through improved knowledge of the condition, sharing of information and resources, and good communication and co-operation throughout the global Down syndrome community. For more information:

Supporting Organizations
Sponsored by the Brazilian Mission and Polish Mission to the United Nations, UN Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and UNICEF and Organized by Down Syndrome International in collaboration with the Brazilian Federation of Associations of Down Syndrome (FBASD), Down España, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society, Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation, and Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

Organizing Committee
Patricia Almeida (Chair) I João Alberto Dourado Quintaes I Maciej Janczak I Fred Doulton I Jessamy Tang
Attachment                                      Size
WDSD at UN Program 2012.pdf                                  526.59 KB

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