Welcome to the website of Down Syndrome Ireland. Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI) is dedicated to being the primary source of information and support to people with Down syndrome, their families and the professional community, working towards an improved quality of life for our members along with a respect and acceptance of people with Down syndrome as valued members of Irish Society.
Down Syndrome Ireland provides a nationally recognised voice for people with Down syndrome and their families. DSI provides information and advice, influences policy, raises public awareness and works towards the improvement of education and services for children and adults with Down syndrome.
Non-judgemental: DSI fosters a spirit of respect and understanding toward all the people we meet and with whom we work.
- Person Centred: DSI places the needs of the person with Down syndrome at the centre of our work and delivers information, advice and support to the community connected by Down syndrome in a caring positive manner.
- Accountable: DSI is accountable to the community connected by Down syndrome and conducts the business of the organisation in an effective, non-discriminatory, transparent and equitable manner.
- Collaborative: DSI works actively with our local branch network and the professional community who are committed to furthering the understanding of Down syndrome.
- Empowerment: DSI believes in the empowerment of people with Down Syndrome at local, national and European level as a means of influencing the perceptions of Irish society towards Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome Ireland is an organisation of people with Down syndrome and their parents and guardians. It has over 3000 member families with 25 branches nationwide, and is funded by voluntary contributions and events organised by its members.
Down Syndrome Ireland has grown from modest beginnings in 1971 into a truly national organisation. It is the biggest single group concerned with the welfare of people with a learning disability in Ireland.
The purpose of the association is to find ways to improve the lives of those with Down syndrome and to help them reach their full potential. With adequate stimulation from an early age and proper education, children with Down syndrome can develop a high degree of competence. The principal aims of the association are as follows:-
- To provide a counselling service and information to parents and guardians of persons with Down syndrome, especially those with new-born babies.
- To ensure that proper and appropriate educational facilities are available to children with Down syndrome, with the realistic option of attending ordinary national schools.
- To promote research into the causes of Down syndrome, and to keep parents informed of developments taking place at home and abroad for the advancement and care of people with Down syndrome.
- To liaise with the Departments of Health and Children; Social, Community and Family Affairs; Education and Skills; and Enterprise, Trade and Employment; and with other relevant authorities and national organisations.
- To provide a forum where parents and guardians can meet and exchange views and ideas.
- To establish a system of advocacy and guardianship for adults and children with Down syndrome who have lost their parents.
- The ultimate objective is the integration of people with Down syndrome into the community with full citizen’s rights as laid down in European Union directives and the United Nations charter.