Australians will share 21 stories leading up to this year’s World Down Syndrome Day on March 21.
Chief Executive Officer of Down Syndrome Australia, Dr Ellen Skladzien says the international theme for World Down Syndrome Day 2019 is “no one left behind”.
“Too often people with Down syndrome do not have the same opportunities as their peers because of the stigma associated with intellectual disability.”
She says Down Syndrome Australia will tackle the stigma and lack of understanding through the art of storytelling.
“We asked people with Down syndrome to consider the question, ‘What Makes Me Proud?’
“The answers we received showcase the diverse interests, passions and abilities of people with Down syndrome.”
10 year old Elijah lives in Brisbane and creates YouTube videos with his monkey puppet, Crumpet.
The videos he creates allows Elijah to show off what he can do, helping to break down misconceptions about people with disability.
Elijah and Crumpet both have a worldwide following and they have exciting plans for the future.
Alex, a keen artist who lives in Warrambool, Victoria is using his artworks to help others.
“I like to get up at 4am each morning. I feel like it’s a special time for me, when I have the house to myself because Mum and Dad are asleep.
“I like to paint, write, play my guitar and watch videos that I’ve made of my family and friends, early in the morning.
“People tell me that they really like my paintings and that the colours make them happy,” he says.
“When I sell a painting, I use the money to support a deaf student in Ghana and to support a school with new books and pens. I also buy Solar Buddy lights for Ghanaian children, so they can read and do school work at night,” he explains.
The patron of Down Syndrome Australia Governor-General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove is encouraging everyone to get involved this year.
“I am proud to be patron of Down Syndrome Australia and encourage all Australians to get involved with World Down Syndrome Day.
“It is an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable lives and achievements of people with Down syndrome,” he says.
You can read more stories leading up to World Down Syndrome Day on the Down Syndrome Australia website or by clicking here.