Watch the UN WEBCAST again here:

Original Version - English Version - Spanish Version - Portugese Version


Download SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS and view biographies.

Down Syndrome International would like to thank everyone who took part in the 3rd World Down Syndrome Day Conference, based on the theme "Health and Wellbeing - Access and Equality for All" which took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA on 21 March 2014 in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.


Speakers included:


Dr William Mobley - United States - Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Neurosciences and Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment at UC San Diego and the Florence Riford Chair of Alzheimer Disease Research.

Dr Yvonne Maddox - United States - Deputy Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health and Chair of The Down Syndrome Consortium.

Dr George Capone - United States - Director of the Down Syndrome Clinic and Research Center (DSCRC) at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Member of Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group- USA.

Dr John Mayer - United States - Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Past Chair, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Cardiac Surgeon, Boston Children’s Hospital.

Drew Boshell –Senior Director, Global Community Health Programs, Special Olympics. 

Professor S Suresh - India - Chief Medical Director, MediScan Systems, Chennai, India.

Sheila Heslam - United Kingdom - Services Director, Down's Syndrome Association, presenting with self-advocate Sara Pickard on new Adult Health Book for people with Down syndrome to use with their medical practitioners, prepared in consultation with people with Down syndrome, their families and doctors. 

Jaspreet Kaur Sekhon - Singapore - Self-advocate delivering keynote address.

Rosica Koleva - Macedonia - Trisomija 21, Skopje.

Ben Majewski - United States - Self-advocate Resource Specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Down Syndrome Program.

Professor Tony Holland - United Kingdom - University of Cambridge, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Group and Chair in Learning Disabilities, The Health Foundation.

Dr Karen Summar - United States - Healthcare legislative assistant, Office of Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, US House of Representatives; Joseph P. Kenney Foundation Public Policy Fellow; and former Director, Thomas Center for Down Syndrome at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Dr Balbir Singh - Singpaore - Board of Trustees, Down Syndrome International.

Vera Lucia Mendes - Brazil - Ministry of Health.

Thanjiwe Ndebele - South Africa - National Chairperson of the Self Advocacy Movement of South Africa, a programme of Down Syndrome South Africa.

Debora Seabra – Brazil - Self-Advocate “Healthcare must be inclusive – Article 25 of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”.


All people with Down syndrome have the right to access healthcare when required on an equal basis with others without discrimination and with proper assessment of the specific health needs of the individual.

People with Down syndrome often face challenges with respect to healthcare ranging from being denied or delayed access to healthcare, incorrect diagnoses due to lack of knowledge or inadequate training, negative attitudes and assumptions that conditions are attributed to the trisomy 21 diagnosis, refusal to allow patients to participate in decisions and treatment plans, and lack of respect for an individual’s basic human right to good health and wellbeing.  

The Conference helped to realise the right of persons with Down syndrome and other disabilities to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability, as recognised by Article 25 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

The Conference was sponsored by the Permanent Missions to the UN of Australia, Brazil, India, Japan and Poland, UNICEF, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Health Organisation and International Disability Alliance. 


We look forward to meeting you all again on World Down Syndrome Day 2015!


You can also check out the WDSD Conference 2013 page to watch the UN Webcast again in English, Spanish or Portugese, view the speaker biographies and download the conference programme and speaker presentations. 

For further information on the UN CRPD visit the UN Enable website.