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Their Voice: Spend some time with the Down syndrome community

March 25, 2018 GMT

This last Wednesday, if you happened to notice people wearing socks with crazy colors and prints, it was very likely they were acknowledging World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Since 2012, March 21 has been observed by the United Nations as a global awareness day for Down syndrome. March 21 was not a random selection for this observance, but is distinctive because it’s the 21st day of the third month, signifying the unique triplication (trisomy) on the 21st chromosome, leading to Down syndrome.

The Utah Down Syndrome Foundation has another event for people with Down syndrome on April 7 in Salt Lake City. The “After-Easter Egg Hunt” is a free family Easter egg hunt, bringing together people with Down syndrome and their families for fun and collaboration.

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Due to scheduling changes at the venue, the event will be held at the Salt Lake City Marriott University Park Hotel. Participants will gather at 9:45 a.m. and the hunt will begin promptly at 10 a.m. The event also includes games, crafts, refreshments and dancing, with DJ Jason, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m.

There is no charge for this event, but participants are asked to RSVP at info@udsf.org to insure there are enough supplies. Participants should also bring their own baskets or containers to carry home their candy collected from thousands of eggs.

This is just one of the events sponsored by the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides outreach, training, support, education and activities for individuals with Down syndrome, their parents and families and the community. Information about UDSF and their statewide events can be found at udsf.org.

There are also activities locally through the Utah County group. There is a game night every other month at Kids on the Move on the Orem Community Hospital grounds from 7 to 8:30 p.m. These events are a great way to get to know other people in the community and share resources, experiences and family fun. They are looking for new people who would be interested in joining their group. If you are interested in learning more, contact Kathryn Paxman at utahcounty@udsf.org.

One of the common stereotypes about people with Down syndrome is that they are always happy. If this is true, I can’t think of a better group to spend a Friday game night with.

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