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DSSA NEWSLETTER - MARCH 2016

Click here for DSSA's March 2016 Newsletter

 


IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Brownies and DownieS

Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) would like to issue a statement regarding all media releases on the recently opened restaurant in Cape Town called Brownies and Downies.

The perception was created that DSSA has endorsed the name chosen for the restaurant. We like to take this opportunity to clarify our position. DSSA was not contacted nor issued any media statements regarding the opening of the restaurant, while we embrace the concept of the restaurant and the opportunity afforded to children with Down syndrome we in no way endorse the name that was chosen. The restaurant in Cape Town is part of a franchise that was started in the Netherlands.

DSSA has always and will always advocate for "People First" terminology.


DSSA NEWSLETTER - OCTOBER 2015

http://ymlp.com/zZITZw


PRESS RELEASE - LANDMARK CASE HEARD IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Johannesburg – A landmark case involving people with an intellectual disability will be heard in the Constitutional Court on the 17th November 2014 at 10h00. In Anna-Marie De Vos v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, the courtwill hear a case concerning the rights of people with intellectual disabilities charged with a crime. This follows a judgment by the Western Cape High Court declaring that section 77 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Act unconstitutional as it violates the accused’s right to freedom and security of the person.

According to section 77 (6)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act, when a court finds that an accused does not appreciate or understand proceedings as a result of a ‘mental illness or intellectual disability’,  it prescribes that a judge must direct such a person to be detained in either a prison or a psychiatric hospital involuntarily.

Two cases brought the matter to the fore. The first is a case against Llwellyn Stuurman, a 23 year old with a mild to moderate intellectual disability allegedly stabbed and killed a 14 year old girl when he was 14 years old. Another is one against Pieter Snyders, a 35 year old born with Down syndrome, accused of raping an 11 year old girl about seven years ago. Both accused were being tried when the magistrate found that they did not understanding their respective proceedings.

Intellectual disabilities affect an individual’s ability to develop or acquire basic behavioral and social skills. These include Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy which cannot be medically treated. Mental illness, other the hand, refers to a disorder that affects one’s thinking, behavior or emotions and can be treated.

This case is significant because the current legal framework does not protect the rights of people with disabilities that interact with the criminal justice system on a daily basis. Understanding the needs of and difference between people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental illnesses means understanding that both groups require different treatment, care and rehabilitation.

Down Syndrome South Africa and SECTION27 strongly encourage all interested organisations to attend the court proceedings and support people with intellectual disabilities.

Where: Constitutional Court of South Africa, Braamfontein, Johannesburg

When: 17 November 2014

Time: 10h00

For any enquiries, contact:

Umunyana Rugege (Attorney, SECTION27) on rugege@section27.org.za or 083 458 5677 or Thabang Chiloane (Chairperson, Down Syndrome South Africa) on 079 288 1918 or 082 902 1824

 


PRESS RELEASE -  IN RESPONSE  TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT “WRONGFUL SUFFERING” CASE ON DOWN SYNDROME 29TH AUGUST - Thabang Chiloane, Chairperson.

Down Syndrome South Africa is committed to finding ways to improve the quality of life of all persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities promoting the idea that they have the right to live with independence, dignity and security as valued adults and full citizens in society.

Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) does not consider Down syndrome as a reason for termination of the foetus. DSSA believe that it is important for parents to be given the unbiased and correct information and support when a diagnosis of Down syndrome is confirmed. Currently DSSA has 14 branches and support groups across the country who are equipped to provide such information and support.

Furthermore DSSA sees to it that the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Disabled People are recognised and honoured in all spheres of life.  In 2008 the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) came into effect.  The purpose of this convention is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respects for their inherent dignity”.  South Africa signed and ratified the convention in 2007. Article 10 of this convention promotes The Right to Life.  The Constitution of South Africa, Act 108 of1996: The Rights to Equality clause affirms that people with disabilities should not be discriminated against on the basis of their disability.

“People with Down syndrome are active contributors to family life, not passive recipients of care.

Personal testimony of hundreds of parents, families, siblings and other family members has shown that having a member with Down syndrome can have a positive impact for all.  This has been supported by several independent research findings” – Down Syndrome International

Down Syndrome South Africa supports the Position Statement on Prenatal testing of DSi

Please visit www.ds-int.org/dsi-position-statement-prenatal-testingwww.timeslive.co.za and www.sabc.co.za/news and search Constitutional Court hears ‘down syndrome’ case

 


MEDIA ALERT: PIVOTAL CASE ON THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES TO BE HEARD IN THE WESTERN CAPE HIGH COURT

Cape Town - SECTION27 will tomorrow (Wednesday, 13 August) represent Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA), who have intervened as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in an application brought by Maria and Luwellyn Stuurman against the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others. The applicants are challenging the constitutional validity of section 77 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Act, arguing that it violates the right to freedom and security of person and the right to dignity of persons with intellectual disabilities.

Background of the case

At the age of 14, Luwellyn Stuurman allegedly stabbed and killed a 14 year old girl and was charged with murder. Psychologists found that he was unable to appreciate or understand the criminal proceedings because he had mild to moderate intellectual disabilities[1].

When a court finds that an accused person is unfit to stand trial as a result of a ‘mental illness[2] or intellectual disability’, section 77 (6)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act prescribes that a judge must direct such a person be detained in either a prison or a psychiatric hospital involuntarily.

The DSSA , through SECTION27, will argue that the above provision is unconstitutional as it violates the dignity of the accused and his right to access to healthcare services. In not distinguishing between mental illness or intellectual disability, those with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities may not have access to the healthcare services they need. Further, they will argue that this provision is inconsistent with international instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which provides for people in Luwellyn’s circumstances and has been ratified by South Africa.

This case is significant because the current legal framework does not protect the rights of people with disabilities that interact with the criminal justice on a daily basis. Understanding the needs of people with intellectual disabilities would mean that they would receive the appropriate treatment that will lead to the realisation of the right to healthcare services. This will contribute towards “free[ing] the potential of each person” as envisioned in our Constitution.

Where: Western Cape High Court, Cape Town

When: 13 and 14 August 2014


MY SCHOOL CARD

EXCITING NEWS!!

We have been accepted as a beneficiary for My School Card. 

email dssaoffice@icon.co.za or phone 0861-369-672 and we will send you an application form or

click here to download the application form 

 


NAIROBI-DECLARATION

INCLUSIVE POST 2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN AFRICA 

Click here for the Declaration


NEW - EDUCATION SUPPORT PACKS - A GUIDE FOR EDUCATORS, SUPPORT PERSONS AND PARENTS  

STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR INCLUDING LEARNERS WITH DOWN SYNDROME (can also be used for other special needs)

Why do we need a special education support pack? People with Down syndrome have a specific learning style and profile. Parents, Educators and Learner Assistants need to know what these are. This pack will enable you to know what the learning style and profile is, how it effects learning and how best to support the child during his/her school years.  

DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION PAMPHLET

DOWNLOAD THE ORDER FORM