Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2023 with lots of socks

Down Syndrome Ireland members Nathan Brannigan and Niamh Gorey (both 19) promoting World Down Syndrome Day.

Down Syndrome Ireland is calling on the public to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March and to work With Us Not For Us to improve the lives of everyone with Down syndrome.

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Each year, Down Syndrome International develops a theme for WDSD, which reflects a global campaign in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This years theme is With Us, Not For Us, and is focused on a human rights-based approach to disability  the right to be treated fairly, to have the same opportunities as everyone else, and to make ones own choices.

On Tuesday, 21st March, Down Syndrome Ireland is asking people to raise awareness by joining in with our Lots of Socks Campaign by wearing colourful, eye-catching and/or mismatched fun socks.

There will be lots of other events happening around the country across our 25 branches, creating their own unique events to celebrate and raise awareness about World Down Syndrome Day.


Barry Sheridan, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, said that the organisation rely heavily on contributions from the public to assist with their running.

“Down Syndrome Ireland is the voice of people with Down syndrome and their families throughout the country. We provide a huge range of services to our members, which have enhanced and improved the lives of thousands of children and adults with Down syndrome for over fifty years. We rely on the generosity of the public to keep these services going; less than a quarter of our funding comes from the state, so donations are absolutely vital. With the support of the public, people with Down syndrome have made enormous strides in Ireland.

“While it is a day for celebration, it would be remiss of us to overlook the barriers and obstacles affecting our members every day, including access to essential therapies, resourcing in schools to meet the educational needs of children with Down syndrome, and the challenges in the Network Disability Teams system. We are calling for a human rights-based approach to allow people with Down syndrome to lead independent lives.

“Every person with Down syndrome in Ireland is on a journey, just as Down Syndrome Ireland has been on a journey over the past 52 years. Were asking the people of Ireland to take that journey with us  to continue the support and understanding theyve shown to us and our members down through the decades. We’ve already come an incredibly long way together, let’s go the extra mile”, CEO Barry Sheridan concluded.

Share photos across social media on the day using #LotsOfSocks4DSI and #WorldDownSyndromeDay and donate what you can via their website – www.downsyndrome.ie/donate/