My mind is still reeling from all that I heard and saw at the conference in Dublin this week. It was wonderful to be around so many different people in the Down syndrome community. There were parents, professionals, expert researchers, children and adults with Down syndrome. There were displays as well as talks and I met people from all over the world but always I felt a huge sense of community. I have a picked up some new resources for the library (some Dave Hingsburger publications, an Italian DVD, a children's book amongst a couple others) but also was able to hear talks by many of the authors of resources already in the library. I will write in more detail over the next few weeks about what I learned from the Congress, but the highlights from the talks have been for me:
Hearing about the post-secondary education programs going in the US and Ireland. The tertiary program at Trinity College in Dublin is particularly exciting and impressive.
Listening to Dave Hingsburger in person. He makes me laugh, cry and challenge my actions.
Hearing Dennis McGuire (one of the authors of Mental Wellness in adults with Down syndrome) speak. His knowledge, love and respect of people with Down syndrome really comes through.
David Patterson speaking on the continuing study of the genetics of Down syndrome was interesting.
The gains made in Russia with the acceptance of children with Dow
n syndrome was great to hear.
The feeling, motivation and belief in social inclusion by many speakers.
Hearing the young adults with Down syndrome speak.
There are really just too many highlights for me to go on with. I did appreciate listening to the whole range of issues concerning Down syndrome all packed into 3 days. It helps bring in all into context.
I look forward to coming back to Australia and unpacking the library! But also unpacking my thoughts about all this.
(United by Music is pictured at right. They performed at the Congress with guest Sujeet Desai)