Today, 21 March 2018, marks the 13th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day.
This year, World Down Syndrome Day focusing on #WhatIBringToMyCommunity and highlighting how people with Down syndrome can and do make meaningful contributions throughout their lives, whether in schools, workplaces, living in the community, public and political life, culture, media, recreation, leisure and sport.
Young adults in Donegal explored this theme by interviewing six well-known people in the local community.
These interviews open up an important conversation and raise awareness of Down Syndrome. The interviewers put unique questions to the business people, politicians and sports stars which reveal a refreshingly different insight into their lives. At the same time, we learn a little bit about each interviewee and their shared interests with the people they are talking to.
Gina Grant of the Donegal Down Syndrome Association said: “It’s a great way to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
“The most common reason people have Down syndromes they have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome which is why the 21st of the 3rd was chosen.”
Gina spoke of her pride for all the young interviewers, saying: “Our members went out and about in Donegal raising awareness of themselves they were all nervous (some more than others). I’m massively chuffed, the strength they show me every day is unreal.”
Watch all six videos below:
Michael Gallagher talks movies with Century Cinemas owner Mark Doherty and asks a very important question – what type of popcorn does Mark prefer?
Jemma Jordan challenges Donegal captain Michael Murphy with tough questions about his GAA life and training.
John-Patrick chats business with Brian Gallagher, owner of Station House Hotel, to uncover the history of the iconic Letterkenny location. John-Patrick also shares his plans for WDSD, which involve dressing smartly for the occasion – a great plan!
Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty is interviewed by Daniel O’Reilly, who puts interesting questions about politics, work and football. Daniel and Pearse get on so well that he gets a special invite to Dail Eireann.
Sinead McDevitt meets Gabrielle McMonagle of Gabrielle’s Diary to find out about her glamorous work life and to ask her about shopping and beauty.
David Crawford has an in-depth talk with Thomas Pringle TD about his work, his favourite music and sport teams and his family life.
Donegal Down Syndrome Association has around 160 families registered with them. They provide speech and language therapy free to all their members plus swimming lessons, music lessons, yoga, dance and much more.
The association is about supporting members with Down Syndrome and their families to have as much independence as possible, while encouraging our communities/schools and businesses to be fully inclusive.
The association members will be having a big party this weekend too! You can visit www.facebook.com/DonegalDownSyndrome for more information and updates from the group.
Elsewhere in Donegal, people are rocking odd socks as a colourful way of getting the conversation going about Down Syndrome.
People in local schools and businesses are proudly flaunting their mismatched socks to raise awareness about the disorder which affects approximately seven thousand people in Ireland today.
By wearing mismatched socks, they are celebrating the things that make everyone unique, as well as raising funds for Down Syndrome Ireland.
If you have photos of videos to share, send them our way at firstname.lastname@example.org