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March 18, 2016

PRESS RELEASE- CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME HAVE RIGHT TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

PRESS RELEASE- CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME HAVE RIGHT TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

21 March is commemorated as World Down Syndrome Day. For 2016 Down Syndrome International and Down Syndrome South Africa have chosen to focus on: “My Friends, My Community” - The benefits of inclusive environments for today's children and tomorrow's adults.

 

 

The South African Federation for Mental Health fully support this theme, and would like to see persons living with Down syndrome being included in all aspects of life. The month of March is also commemorated as Intellectual Disability Awareness Month, and throughout the month SAFMH has been advocating for the right to education for children with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. On World Down Syndrome Day it is important to recognise the importance of allowing all children regardless of their disabilities to access appropriate and inclusive education.

Children with disabilities such as Down syndrome may require specialised care, and are often not included as part of the mainstream education system because it is wrongfully believed that they cannot benefit from education or stimulation. Finding and accessing schools or facilities that can provide this specialised type of care can also be difficult for families, which means that too many children are unable to access education. 

It is important that both Government and parents/ caregivers recognise the fact that access to appropriate basic education for these children is essential, and not providing these services within the communities they live in is a violation of their basic human rights. It is also important to recognise that there are many benefits to these children receiving appropriate education and stimulation, as this has the potential to greatly increase their level of functionality.

On World Down Syndrome Day, SAFMH would like to encourage Government, communities and stakeholders to make it possible for children living with Down syndrome to be integrated and accepted as part of their communities, and to have the access to education that they deserve.

 

For more information on the various events planned countrywide for World Down Syndrome Day, contact:

Down Syndrome South Africa         

www.downsyndrome.org.za

0861-DOWNSA (369-672)

 

 

FOR INQUIRIES INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Marthé Viljoen

Programme Manager: Information & Awareness 

SA Federation for Mental Health

011 781 1852


 

Last modified on March 18, 2016