Down Syndrome South Africa

Working to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome

Down Syndrome South Africa

Nothing About Us Without Us

Who we are

Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA)is a non-profit organisation (NPO 009-415) and was formed in 1986 as the national umbrella body and parent advocacy organisation for the constitutional rights of persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. DSSA currently has 12 regional associations and support groups throughout the country that provides services to persons with Down syndrome, developmental delays and their families.

Our Mission

Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) 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 our society. It endeavours to empower families through dissemination of information, encourages research in the fields of early intervention, education, medical aspects and employment. Its ongoing mission is to bring South Africa in line with world trends in the field of Down syndrome and to see to it that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNRPD) is recognised and honoured in all spheres.

Each year on World Down Syndrome Day 21st March annually and National Down Syndrome Awareness Day 20 October DSSA raises awareness on key issues affecting persons with Down syndrome and DSSA is able to convey new information on Down syndrome to the South African public. It is hoped that this will create new opportunities for the thousands of children in our country who have up to now been greatly underestimated and stigmatised.

What we do

Advocate at national government on the rights of persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

To encourage the development of support groups, programmes and services that may be appropriate and beneficial for persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

To promote public awareness and improve attitudes towards persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

To collect and administer funds in accordance with all applicable legislation for the purpose of carrying out the objectives of DSSA

Capacity building of our members.

Programme Focus Areas

Capacity building

Of our members in all nine provinces

Rights Based Advocacy

On policy at national and international platforms on the right to education, universal healthcare for all, access to employment, political and social rights

Awareness on Down syndrome

Thereby reducing the stigma, myths and discrimination that surround the condition

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