'#ICouldBe' hashtag celebrates the future potential of children with Down Syndrome
Social media is awash with posts celebrating this year's World Down Syndrome Day.
Hashtags 'ShareTheJourney', 'ICouldBe', and 'LeaveNoOneBehind' have dominated Twitter and Facebook today as people across the country raise awareness for Down Syndrome and challenge misconceptions about those who have it.
Many people have also opted to wear odd socks to mark the extra chromosome that people with Down Syndrome are born with.
Down Syndrome Ireland are using the day to challenge the outdated ideas about the genetic disorder while also promoting the reality of living with Down Syndrome in this country.
The charity encouraged supporters to use social media to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and to celebrate those living with trisomy, the triplication of the 21st chromosome.
Our '...more than medical' book launch event is about to start - we welcome Minister @FinianMcGrathTD and all our guests 💜#ShareTheJourney #LeaveNoOneBehind #WorldDownSyndromeDay pic.twitter.com/KLinaAbZwA
— Down Syndrome IRL (@DownSyndromeIRL) March 21, 2019
Speaking on Morning Ireland today, Down Syndrome Ireland CEO Gary Owens encouraged people to challenge their attitudes towards children with Down Syndrome specifically.
He said that there is now more access to speech and occupational therapy to help young people with the genetic disorder access mainstream education and, later in life, employment opportunities.
The Down Syndrome Centre have also contributed to today's celebration by launching their new campaign 'I Could Be.'
— Iarnród Éireann #StaySafe (@IrishRail) March 21, 2019
Featuring the faces of 18 children with Down Syndrome, the photos are displayed around Dublin city centre today alongside professions that each of the kids, aged between six and 16, could be in the future.
These included a politician, a TV presenter, a model, a fashion designer, and a chef.
Happy World Down Syndrome day from 8 year old Leah Murray, who helped us out as a tour guide here in Dublin Castle! Thanks, Leah! @Downsyndromecen @WorldDSDay #ICouldBe #WDSD2019
— Dublin Castle (@dublincastleopw) March 21, 2019
— The Gaiety Theatre (@gaiety_theatre) March 21, 2019
— trottolina.ie (@trottolina_ie) March 21, 2019
#ICouldBe playing for my club in the RDS or in the Aviva... On #WDSD2019 we salute all our wonderful players and their clubs and the brilliant work of our charity partners @Downsyndromecen and all the support they give to children with Down syndrome and their families 👏💪🏉 pic.twitter.com/H7y96WMjl7
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) March 21, 2019
It was great to have Ben in here last week as he expertly conducted his brothers. Today he's looking after our foyer for us. If you're passing, pop in for a look to support #WorldDownSyndromeDay !@Downsyndromecen @WorldDSDay
#WDSD19 #ICouldBe #WDSD2019 pic.twitter.com/7JdRlzPVNX
— National Concert Hall (@NCH_Music) March 21, 2019
"An important part of ‘I Could Be’ was for each of the children to spend some time with each of the businesses and organisations that are supporting the campaign," said the centre.
"This turned out to be a lot of fun for all involved."
You can find each of the children's locations by clicking here.