World Down Syndrome Day 2020 theme 'We Decide' focuses on decisions, empowerment and inclusion

EMPOWERING: Support workers Kenny Sousa and Vinnie Riego, with Jordyn and Jessika Threlfo and their mum Dee, Shannon Smith and his mum Margaret Griffiths.
EMPOWERING: Support workers Kenny Sousa and Vinnie Riego, with Jordyn and Jessika Threlfo and their mum Dee, Shannon Smith and his mum Margaret Griffiths.

If you see someone wearing brightly coloured socks this Saturday, there's a good chance they could be raising awareness of Down Syndrome.

March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day, which has been officially recognised by the United Nations since 2012.

This year's international theme is 'We Decide', emphasising that people with Down syndrome have the right to make decisions about their lives and to be included in all aspects of the community.

For Sawyers Gully mum Dee Threlfo, whose children Jordyn and Jessika have Down Syndrome, this year's theme is about empowerment and inclusion.

"It lets them live the life they want to live, like anyone else," she said.

Ms Threlfo said choice is important for Jordyn and Jessika, when it comes to work, recreation and social activities.

Jordyn, 26, is well-known in the Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland areas for his errand business, Jordy Can Do, and is a big sports fan, with Nitro Circus among his favourites.

Jessika, 23, is a keen dancer and singer, and is a member of Wild Learning's Friday film making group for young people with disabilities.

Ms Threlfo said while things are improving, there is still a lot of negativity about Down Syndrome, which makes awareness days like March 21 really important.

Margaret Griffiths - whose son Shannon Smith has Down Syndrome - agrees.

"I'll often just start talking to people at the supermarket about Down Syndrome," she said.

Shannon, 42, is a client of Finding Yellow and last year moved into a new house with two fellow clients.

He was also part of a cricket game, organised by one of his housemates, that raised money for bushfire-affected communities.

Ms Threlfo said World Down Syndrome Day also highlights that the world has a lot to offer for people with disability, and they have a lot to offer in return.

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