What is a ‘stereotype’?
A stereotype is a set idea that people have about what someone or something is like.
Stereotypes can be positive, negative or neutral, but they are often inaccurate, or simply wrong!
Stereotypes are often based on limited information or personal experience. They can be reinforced by the way something is represented in the media or by cultural messages.
Once formed, a stereotype can be difficult to change.
Stereotypes are harmful!
For people with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities, stereotypes can stop us from being treated like other people. We get treated like children, we are underestimated and we are excluded. Sometimes we are treated very badly or even abused.
These are real examples of stereotypes in action…
People are all different. Each person with Down syndrome is different. Each person with an intellectual disability is different.
We don’t all act the same way or like the same things.
We each have our individual identity, interests, likes and dislikes, gifts and talents, just like everyone else.
Having Down syndrome or an intellectual disability is just one part of who we are!
We are people. Treat us like people.