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World Down Syndrome Day: why diversity and inclusion are essential pillars

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This Tuesday, March 21, is World Down Syndrome Day, a day promoted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. The objective, according to the entity, is to “create greater public awareness of the issue and remember fundamental dignity, worth and valuable contributions of people with intellectual disabilities as promoters of the well-being and diversity of their communities.”

Within the framework of this day, the Changing the Look Civil Society, which works to break down prejudices and open avenues of opportunity for people with this condition, presented a new awareness campaign. The initiative is focused on the importance of giving patients with Down syndrome the right space to show what they are capable of and, in this way, achieve true inclusivity.

It should be remembered that Down syndrome is a genetic change in chromosome 21: people with this condition have three chromosomes in the 21st pair instead of two. Chromosomes are structures that contain DNA, which is the main component of the genetic material of living people. This picture, according to UN figures, “has an estimated incidence of between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 1,100 newborns.”

In this case, Cambiando la Mirada released the original musical theme “Real Inclusion”, which highlights the difference between the terms “diversity” and “inclusion” and suggests going one step further. This campaign and the musical performance were supported by the Macro Foundation and the participation of celebrities and prominent people such as Cris Morena, Geraldine Neumann, Zaira Nara, Maru Botana, among others.

Download the song for World Down Syndrome Day

The lyrics:

“Everything changes

if we give a place

It’s time for real inclusion.

Do you remember that game you watched from the bench?

And the time at work when they were not listening to you.

That drama you were in,

And when they hired you to stand there.

When invited to the party, that’s the difference.

But inclusion is being asked to dance.

He is really giving the opportunity

to show everything you can add.

Everything changes if we give place.

It’s time for real inclusion.”

Regarding the campaign, Dolores Pisano Costa, founder and director of Cambiando la Mirada, explained: “As a society we have come a long way in terms of diversity, but it has more to do with acceptance and integration. this campaign is going one step further: give a proper space so that the person can offer their contribution, show what they are capable of; and that their participation reflects the value of diversity”.

“The phrase of the song says ‘Diversity is invited to the party; inclusion, being asked to dance’ I think he explains it very well and it only applies to people with Down syndrome. We want to recommend working to achieve inclusion from which we benefit”, he described Pisano Costa, second.

Trends and challenges

Before this, Pisano Costa detailed Infobae, in previous statements, about the prejudices that still have to be demolished around Down syndrome, taking the case of his son, Matías, as a reference. “One of the main ones is that everyone who has this condition is good, and in fact they are not angels. They are human like the rest of mortals: sometimes they are in a bad mood, they get angry,” said the president of a civil society founded by parents of people with and without Down syndrome.

Another of the beliefs, according to the woman, “is that they will not be able to work or are not autonomous, and in the association we saw it with our own experience: there is a presenter, a journalist, a kindergarten teacher. Today there, it is known that they are people who manage independently, with accompaniment in some cases, but who achieve an autonomous life”.

For Pisano Costa, “in general, the prejudices are in line with the fact that they will not be able to do many things, when it turns out that these myths are what cancel them. If we look at them we will look at the a person behind their torn eyes that they have so many characteristics, and we will be able to see their ability to improve them”. Under these precepts, “they are the biggest challenges in socialization, for real open schools and achieve inclusiveness so that education is adapted to each student, with modalities that are useful for each child, with their strengths and weaknesses.”

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