World Down Syndrome Day: A Spotlight on Awareness and Advocacy  

Many if not most people are familiar with Down syndrome. However, for those who are not, a few facts: 

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated annually on March 21 to bring global awareness about Down syndrome, a condition in which a child is born with an extra 21st chromosome. 

The 21st day of March, which has been observed by the UN since 2012, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. The medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is “trisomy” so Down syndrome is also known as Trisomy 21. 

Each year, 1 in 700 babies are born with Down syndrome in the U.S., which is about 6,000 babies annually.  

The theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2023 is “With Us Not For Us.” The Down syndrome international network (DSi) seeks to establish a human rights-based approach to disability. They are campaigning for the right to legal capacity, supported decision-making and easy-to-understand communication. 

We celebrate World Down Syndrome Day at the Elizabeth Lee Black School with the ROCK THE SOCKS DAY, as the karyotype for Down syndrome looks like mismatched socks. So, when you are walking through our halls and you see our staff and students with mismatched socks, you will know that we are celebrating a very special day.  

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