About WDSC DUBAI 2021

  • The Emirates Down Syndrome Association is hosting the World Down Syndrome Congress (WDSC) 2021, which will be held in virtually in November 2021. This is the first event of its kind to be held in the Middle East and North Africa. In a global phenomenon, the WDSC will bring together an anticipated 1,500 delegates including people with Down syndrome, their families and advocates, experts, specialists and researchers in the field of Down syndrome.
  • The congress will include recent significant developments, quality research in key areas of global relevance to people with Down syndrome.
  • Topics of interest will include health, education, employment, sports, recreation and leisure. Focus will be on human rights based issues (in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (UNCRPD)) such as ensuring an adequate standard of living, social protection, legal recognition, social and cultural inclusion and the right to live an independent life.
  • The WDSC, the largest global congress for people with Down syndrome, is a family based event and an opportunity to share and hear their inspiring success stories, the challenges facing people with Down syndrome, and to gain knowledge and experience about self- advocacy, empowerment and social inclusion.
  • The UAE is hosting an event of such magnitude because of its remarkable history in international achievements. The continuous humanitarian initiatives and the direction from its prudent leaders to implement the latest standards by providing People of Determination with equal opportunities in all areas of life.

WDSC Principles


  • Representatives of countries from all over the world, specifically including developing countries, to participate in the WDSC.
  • A mix of self-advocates, advocates, disability groups and organizations, education, health and social professionals, researchers and other interested parties


  • Plurality in the ideas, methods, actions, theories and opinions which should always be strictly respectful of advocacy, science and ethics.
  • Total exclusion of fundamentalism and financial or political interest.


Diversity in the rights and opportunities for people with Down syndrome on an equal basis with others, which should be recognized and respected with reference to the people of determination (UNCRPD).


Showcase specific aspects concerning Down syndrome so that the most effective medical, educational and social practice and applications can be designed to increase their contribution in society.


Equal rights on an equal basis in all levels and in all areas.

Quality of life for people with Down syndrome

  • Their needs and expectations are satisfied.
  • Develop their full potential.
  • Enjoy all of their inherent rights as set out in the UNCRPD.

WDSC Objectives

Scientific and Social Advances

Presentations will be made of the most important recent advances in key areas connected with Down syndrome, including:

  • Health (includes all medical sciences and practice)
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Adequate standard of living
  • Social protection
  • Legal recognition
  • Participation in public, political and independent life
  • Social and cultural inclusion
  • Participation in sports, leisure and recreation.

Examples of Best Practice

  • Application of best practice in various disciplines.
  • Personal testimonies, positive experiences and opinions of people with Down syndrome and those who live and work with them
  • Examples of full inclusion of people with Down syndrome in all areas of society

Self -Advocacy and Advocacy

  • Support and encourage people with Down syndrome who would like to advocate for themselves
  • Support parents and family members
  • Encourage support groups and organizations to advocate for people with Down syndrome
  • Showcase the innovative and positive work that is being done by self-advocates and advocates around the world to improve quality of life for people with Down syndrome
  • Particularly focus on countries where the political, economic, social or cultural situations makes effective advocacy most challenging

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