President Paula-Mae Weekes joined the list of people calling for equality for persons with Down Syndrome.
Weekes made the call as she delivered the feature address at an annual conference hosted by the Down Syndrome Family Network in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) at the Magdelena Grande Hotel and Golf Resort on Monday.
World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated annually on March 21.
The President asked that persons be on the lookout for “inequalities and inequities” in the way the differently-abled are treated.
“Let us accept that personal responsibility to play our part in ensuring that persons with Down Syndrome and other disabilities are appreciated and treated as worthy members of our national community,” Weekes told the gathering.
She also urged people to take responsibility for educating themselves about Down Syndrome and its effects.
“In schools and workplaces, in social and medical services, in the design of products and devices services or environments, there must be consideration of the people with disabilities and the determination to have inequity revealed.”
She added that an effort must go beyond determination and consideration and translate into action.
“The real goal of all of this is attitudinal change so that persons with Down Syndrome are valued, accepted, included and incorporated seamlessly into national life,” Weekes added.
This year’s conference featured the US-born Emmanuel Bishop, who also has Down Syndrome. He is a famous violinist and is multilingual, with the ability to speak English, French, Latin and Spanish. Emmanuel has also excelled in sports, having won several Special Olympics medals in swimming and golf.
During his presentation, Emmanuel, a devout Christian, said he believes his purpose in life is to show that persons with Down Syndrome can achieve great heights.