DSi, 13th March 2015Voluntary and Professional Awards
Ahead of World Down Syndrome Day on Saturday 21 March, Down Syndrome International (DSi) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2015 World Down Syndrome Day Awards.
2015 is the sixth year of the World Down Syndrome Day Awards, presented to individuals or organisations whose voluntary, professional or scientific activities have strengthened and enriched the lives of people with Down syndrome, or contributed to scientific advancement related to Down syndrome.
5 individuals with Down syndrome receive an award for outstanding self-advocacy:
Ashley DeRamus (USA) – Ashley DeRamus is an entrepreneur, an advocate, a singer, a public speaker, a music video star and a fashion designer. Ashley and her mother, Connie, founded The Ashley DeRamus Foundation, an organisation founded for and dedicated to the education, advancement and quality of lifestyle for those with Down syndrome.
Ioana-Rauca Avram, Mihai Arsenie and Valentin-Bogdan Cristea (Romania) – These three young adults are reporters at TVR Television where they are part of “FĂRĂ PREJUDECĂŢI” (“UNPREJUDICED”). This is shown on national television. They report on different foundations that help people with disabilities. Their experience as reporters has been shared with other people who have Down syndrome, and a significant change has been noted concerning their communication with their families and society in general.
S. Karaan (India) – S Karaan attended main stream school until twelfth grade. He excels at chess on school, District State and National Levels, which has proved to significantly improve his concentration and memory skills. He competes with people his same age who do not have Down syndrome. He has been selected for Special Olympics and is also a board member of Special Olympics Bharat Tamilnadu, where he was also selected to attend a Leadership Training Programme in Governance. He has also received many awards including Young Achiever Award by Rotary Club, Chennai, Rising Star Award for Basketball to name a few.
6 individuals receive an award for outstanding voluntary and professional activities:
Andrea Seewald (Austria) and Matias Haber (Uruguay) –These two individuals teach Tango dance to people with Down syndrome in Austria and Uruguay. Twice a year they arrange a professional and high level Tango Inclusion Festival – Embracing Tango. All of their work is done by sourcing their own funders. Their main aim is to embrace inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the dancing communities. As a result young adults with Down syndrome are more confident and their socialising skills improve.
Amarjit Singh Anand (India) – Amarjit is a father of a child with Down syndrome. Eighteen years ago he founded the first Parent’s Association in his State. Over the years this has grown to 10 Parent Associations in his State. He then went on to establish the Down Syndrome Association Punjab the first of its kind in North India. He was also part of The Draft Committee who assisted with UNCPRD.
Cate Sayers (Australia) – In 2009 after Cate was unable to find appropriate dance classes to meet the learning needs of her daughter who has Down syndrome, she founded e.motion21 and is currently CEO. e.motion21 is a non-profit organisation that provides an Australian first, innovative dance and fitness programmes for children and young adults with Down syndrome. Over the last five years under Cate’s leadership e.motion21 has grown to 7 sites across Victoria with plans for growth both within Victoria and across Australia.
Rosemary Nambooze (Uganda) – Is the mother of child with Down syndrome. Both Rose and her husband opened a Centre to raise awareness about Down syndrome in Uganda and to strengthen the capacity of parents to cope with raising children with special needs. Rose works very hard with her community in sensitizing them to children and their special needs. Rose has sourced all the funding to keep it operational.
Penny Green (United Kingdom) – Director of Down’s Heart Group, Penny has played a pivotal role in the development of resources and materials for people with Down syndrome who have a heart defect. Penny has also done a huge amount of work for Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria and is involved in setting up a charity in the UK to support the work in Nigeria. Penny is also an avid supporter of Down Syndrome International and regularly raises funds to help this cause. Penny is also well known throughout the Down syndrome Facebook community, managing the World Down Syndrome Day Facebook group, which has 20,000 members. In 2012, Penny was a torchbearer for the Olympic Games, carrying a torch for Down syndrome.
All recipients are invited to a formal presentation of World Down Syndrome Day Awards for the years 2013-2015 taking place at the 12th World Down Syndrome Congress (WDSC) in Chennai, India in August 2015.