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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

11th World Down Syndrome Congress: Day 1 begins

The 11th WDSC has just got underway in Capetown - a wonderful series of updates, photos and videos from the pre-conference sessions yesterday were posted on the WDSC Facebook page overnight, and these are amongst the comments that have appeared in the last hour

... Good morning to all of our WDSC followers on Facebook! The 11th World Down Syndrome Congress Plenary Sessions are about to start and we will provide updates, photos and video extracts all day.

... Well over 600 delegates have now arrived and WDSC 2012 is about to start.

.... a dance group from Soweto with drums and singing lead flag bearers with Down syndrome from 40 countries around the world into the hall as a part of the opening ceremony. Then 7 female acapella singers from Bloemfontein perform the official WDSC 2012 song.

Posts from 14th August include the resolutions proposed by people with Down syndrome during the Indaba (meeting of adults with Down syndrome). They address the BIG Five theme of the Congress:

Resolutions - RIGHTS
1. We have the right to say what we think so we need opportunities to speak up.
2. We need to have role models to teach us to be leaders. 
3. We want to have the right to live independently and pay our own bills.
4. We want to have a driver’s license.
5. We want to have self-advocacy groups where we can discuss our own opinions.

1. We have relationships and deal with issues like everyone else. 
2. We want to be respected by our friends, girlfriends or boyfriends – this means making time for us and boyfriends or girlfriends not going out with others.
3. It is our right to choose whom we want to date. We prefer our parents not to interfere.
4. We sometimes find it hard to communicate with new people outside our group and to organise events with our friends.
5. We like the same things as other people – skiing, basketball, swimming, scrapbooking, dancing, acting, yoga, computer games, candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach.

Resolutions - HEALTH
1. We need to do sport and exercise for our health.
2. We need to eat good food, not junk food and don’t do drugs and alcohol.
3. Working and doing your own chores at home keeps you healthy.
4. Family, close friends, boyfriends and girlfriends are important for our health.

Resolutions - EDUCATION
1. It is important to start learning early.
2. We need to learn through playing games.
3. Other people also need to learn how to behave towards people with Down syndrome.
4. Don’t help too much.
5. People should not look down upon us.

Resolutions - EMPLOYMENT
1. We need to earn more money to become independent.
2. People must give people with Down syndrome a chance to prove themselves.
3. Work is for everyone. 
4. Believe in us and we will work hard.
5. We like to work helping other people.

Jackie Softly, from Down Syndrome Western Australia says of the Big Five resolutions:
It makes my heart sing to read these resolutions, and to know they are being developed and put forward at the WDSC by people with Down syndrome is truly wonderful. Those of us who know adults with Down syndrome know these resolutions to be authentic and potent messages that must inform, support and guide us in advocating with and for them.
We could not have said it better - thanks for letting us re-post your response, Jackie.

The best way to keep up is to 'like' the Facebook page , and check in there as you have time. You do not need to have a Facebook account to view the page. Capetown is 8 hours behind Eastern Australian Time.

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