During this year’s World Down Syndrome Day, the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association launched a new awareness video that celebrates diversity at a special screening in Palmerston North.
In ‘Dear Health Professionals’ 14 self-advocates from the Down syndrome community throughout New Zealand invite and challenge Health Professionals to join them in sharing what they bring to the community.
These self-advocates include Abigail, who has just secured employment after completing a certificate at Unitec, Edward who has experienced “a few health challenges,” which hasn’t stopped him from winning a gold medal for New Zealand in the Special Olympics, and Alex who is fluent in Te reo Māori and teaches kapa haka in the community.
Zandra Vaccarino (National Executive Officer, NZDSA) explains why the NZDSA has targeted the health professional in this video.
“Health and Allied Health professionals have a crucial role to play in correcting myths and changing society’s perceptions and narratives about Down syndrome, while also providing valuable and appropriate health care and support.”
The awareness video is part of the international #WhatIBringToMyCommunity campaign, led by World Down Syndrome Day – https://worlddownsyndromeday.org/
The aim of #WhatIBringToMyCommunity is to empower people with Down syndrome to speak up, be heard and influence government policy and action, to be fully included in the community.
“Dear Health Professionals, we’re here to share a message. We’re all different and unique, we all have value, and everyone has the right to live a happy and healthy life.”
After the special screening in Palmerston North, the attendees enjoyed some food and shared what they all bring to their community.
The main themes that popped during that discussion were:
- Positive attitude
- Great meals
- Unique perspective on life
- Infectious smiles
- How to manage stress
- Help others
- Appreciate life
You can watch the video on Youtube