March 21 marked World Down Syndrome Day. The day is an opportunity to gather and raise our voices to advocate for full inclusion for people with Down syndrome and for everyone. This year’s key question was What does inclusion mean?

People across Canada and around the world offered up their answers: Inclusion means having the same opportunities as others. Inclusion means being respected and accepted. Inclusion means being an equal and valued member of your community.

Advocating for inclusion often involves challenging misconceptions about people with Down syndrome and empowering people to share their own stories. Below are a few examples of stories in words, in pictures, and on film to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.

Love Means….Photo Series

Inclusion means participating in all parts of life. Yet, people with Down syndrome are often excluded from conversations about relationships. The “Love Means…” photo series from the Canadian Down Syndrome Society is trying to change that. With this photo essay (recently featured in People), CDSS continues to dispel misconceptions and lack of understanding about the lives of people with Down syndrome, while serving to change the public narrative about the range of emotions they experience.

A collage of black and white images of individuals and couples with Down Syndrome smiling and embracing.

Photographs by Hilary Gauld of One For The Wall.

Explore the project:

The LowDown Podcast World Down Syndrome Day Special

The LowDOWN: A Down Syndrome Podcast is back for Season 5! The show is hosted by Marla Folden and Hina Mahmood of the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation. On their season premiere, recorded live on World Down Syndrome Day, DSRF’s ambassadors tell us what inclusion means to them.

The LowDown Podcast cover art

Listen now on your favourite podcast app or at

Raising Ava Rose Short Film

Raising a child with Down Syndrome presents unique uncertainty for the Plourde family, but with Ava’s endearing spirit and increasing independence, they look hopefully toward the future. In the short STORYHIVE documentary, Raising Ava Rose, we get an insight into Ava’s life at home, school, and in community and the connections she and her family have made with others.

A mother and daughter embrace on the poster of Raising Ava Rose

Watch the film:

Let us know in the comments below, What does inclusion mean to you?