This year’s celebration of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) under the slogan ‘#Connect’, dedicated to the digital inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Ms Natalia Szymańska from the ‘Otwarte Drzwi’ Association, a representative of Poland, takes part in it.
The event takes place simultaneously in New York and Geneva (17 – 19 March), although this year’s celebration is virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Poland, along with Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, UNICEF and the International Disability Alliance, is a traditional sponsor and co-organizer of the event.
Traditionally, the celebration began with an introductory panel featuring event sponsors. This will be followed by panel discussions featuring people with Down’s Syndrome as self-advocates, as well as, among others, representatives of scientific centres and non-governmental organisations.
Poland was represented by Ms Natalia Szymanska, a graduate of the Special Basic Vocational School No. 54 in Warsaw, who has been cooperating with the ‘Otwarte Drzwi’ Association for over 10 years, currently as part of the PARTNERS Support Centre for Disabled People. Ms Szymańska participates with great commitment in the process of professional and social rehabilitation, both in individual and group forms. She undertook employment in a position adapted to her disability in a supported employment scheme, with the services of a job coach.
As part of this year’s WDSD, Poland presents a short film prepared by Ms Natalia and the staff of the Association, in which she talks about her professional work, interests and leisure time activities.
Poland’s participation in the WDSD reflects the importance attached by Polish foreign policy to the issue of the rights of people with disabilities. The event is an opportunity to present Polish achievements in this field and to share good examples of legal solutions with the international community.
Follow the event virtually on the website and live on the UN platform -> https://www.ds-int.org/Event/virtual-wdsd-conference-in-new-york