Together our voices can reach all corners of the globe
World Down Syndrome Day, on 21 March, is a day that we unite together across the world to raise our voice for inclusion, for our rights and to celebrate what we have achieved to make this world better for us. By Michael Sullivan.
We are siblings, parents, friends, colleagues, neighbours and citizens of the world just like everyone else. We have come so far but we know that there is a long way to go, especially for our health needs. We need to work together as a team to make sure the health of people with Down syndrome really counts.
I have been doing all I can to speak up about the health of people with Down syndrome. Recently I met with the Health Minister and Shadow Health Minister to talk about stopping the preventable deaths of people with intellectual disability.
I spoke to them. I told them that people with intellectual disability are dying 27 years earlier than the general population. I told them discriminating against people with intellectual disability is against the law and against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
They listened to what I had to say. They said this is a serious issue and showed they want to take action. I believe they have to take action to stop people with intellectual disability from dying.
I can only do so much to make health services better for us all, but together, we can speak up and have our voice heard about issues that matter to us.
My advice to you is to not be scared. Speak up about the issues that are important to you. Get your voice heard.
As a group we can have a bigger voice. Together our voices can reach all corners of the globe.
So on World Down Syndrome Day I’m asking you to speak up and stand up so we can have a healthy and good life.
Thank you and happy World Down Syndrome Day.
Find out more
- Join the Our Health Counts campaign to get the Australian Government to take leadership in improving health services for people with intellectual disability.
Michael Sullivan is not only a Board member and former chairperson of CID, he has also taken on many other key roles in society, including:
- Australian representative for Down Syndrome International
- National Disability Advisory Council in Canberra
- National Disability Insurance Agency Intellectual Disability Reference Group
- Healthy Ageing Ambassador for the UNSW Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry
- Down Syndrome Advisory Network with Down syndrome Australia.