World Down Syndrome 2023 – Zeit für mehr Sichtbarkeit

19. Januar 2023

Brussels, 21st March – Today on World Down Syndrome Day, EU for Trisomy 21, in collaboration with our partners and self-advocates at CAP Events, commemorated this significant day at the Europe Bar inside the European Parliament. Our dedicated team of trained waiters with Down Syndrome served coffee alongside the regular staff, engaging in meaningful interactions with 44 European Parliamentarians who stopped by for photos and discussions.

This year’s celebration, organized by MEP Miriam Lexmann, was not just limited to the European Parliament. Inclusive coffee shops and restaurants across many European countries saw waiters with Down Syndrome serving coffee to national members of parliament, ministers, and regional cabinet members. In total we worked together with over 300 people to organise this event, engaging over 100 decision makers with 147 people with Down Syndrome across Europe. Our aim through these actions is to demonstrate the abilities of people with Down Syndrome and their eagerness to work, and to call on politicians at both the European and national levels to recognize their potential and create more employment opportunities.

Notably, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, former President Jerzy Buzek, and many other members from all political parties, participated in this campaign to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day. Their involvement underscores the significance of advocating for the rights of people with Down Syndrome and the need for more inclusive policies that promote equal opportunities and participation in society.

In addition to promoting employment opportunities, EU for Trisomy 21 also highlights the right to vote for people with Down Syndrome. Currently, approximately 800,000 people from 16 Member States are denied the right to vote or to stand for election in the EU based on their disability. As we approach the European elections, we call on members of the European Parliament to recognize the voting rights of people with Trisomy 21 throughout Europe.

Online Event Highlight: “Time for More Visibility”

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Kicking off the celebrations, an impactful online event titled “Time for More Visibility” was held on March 16th. This event was a cornerstone of our “The Future is Ours” project, aimed at increasing the visibility of individuals with Down Syndrome. Featuring self-advocate speakers from across Europe, the event focused on the transformative power of visibility in fostering societal acceptance and understanding.

Speakers, employed in inclusive settings such as restaurants and coffee shops, shared personal anecdotes and discussed how visibility plays a crucial role in breaking down barriers and stereotypes associated with Down Syndrome. The online event provided a platform for these advocates to voice their perspectives and demonstrate their capabilities, contributing significantly to our ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities.

This online event successfully set the stage for the subsequent activities of World Down Syndrome Day, reinforcing the message that visibility is a key step towards a more inclusive society. For those who missed the live event, a recording is available on our website at, offering everyone the opportunity to learn from these inspiring stories and to join us in making a difference.

EU for Trisomy 21 hopes that this event will elevate awareness about the abilities of people with Down Syndrome and emphasize the need for greater opportunities and recognition of their rights. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to society and participate in the democratic process, regardless of their abilities.

Let us continue to work together to create a more inclusive and equal society for all. For updates and visuals from the event, please visit our social media @eufortrisomy21 and check out the map of all the places around Europe hosting similar events.

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