March 21 is the day when we celebrate the World Down Syndrome Day, date marked by the United Nations, to increase social awareness and to exclude prejudice towards persons afflicted with this disability. A total of twelve countries -Portugal, Croatia, UK, Italy, Germany, Poland, Latvia, France, Russia, the U.S., New Zealand and Spain, have launched a campaign to say together: «I’ve Got Down Syndrome. So What?».
This communication shows five people with Down Syndrome, a child, a teenager, two young boys and an adult-trying to draw the attention of society to demystify the situation and meet the misgivings about a disability.
Because prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome, it was found that it affects 1 in every 700 babies. Most pregnancies with this disability are interrupted voluntarily, that is, are aborted. Mothers kill their own children.
The spot entitled «Sophia’s Gift» has been issued by 28 TV channels that have joined the campaign and they’re broadcasting it for free.
The campaign aims to make clear the way people with Down Syndrome contribute to society. “Values, such as perseverance, empathy, desire to excel, enthusiasm for the little things, generosity, naturalness, the importance of living in the present … are some of the things people with Down Syndrome teach us and that enrich the entire society”.
«There is still much ignorance and people do not know all the things they can do. We have to get people used to listen to this, and not turn your back on these people. This requires work and effort».
Concerning integration at work, only 5% of people with Down Syndrome “are working in mainstream companies”. One of the primary challenges for people with this illness is the senescence of these people. “Life expectancy of people with Down Syndrome has increased in 20 years. With 40 years they have early alzheimer, however, life expectancy has increased to 60 years”.
The campaign «I’ve Got Down Syndrome. So What?» is promoted in Spain by the Down Syndrome Foundation. It attempts to demystify the condition of the affected people and to destroy the barriers that society has against this disease.
«Both the individual and his family are deserving the same dignity and respect as any other person and in many cases that is not seen,» observes the Down Syndrome Foundation. Hence this campaign to raise public awareness, which has a very clear message: «I’ve Got Down Syndrome. So What?».