Glasgow hosts 13th World Down Syndrome Congress - EMG

Glasgow hosts 13th World Down Syndrome Congress

4 Mins

London, United Kingdom, April 10, 2018

Glasgow is getting set to host the 13th World Down Syndrome Congress, a global event attended by over 1200 health care professionals, clinicians, academics, education professionals and families and people with Down’s syndrome.   Hosted by Down’s Syndrome Scotland on behalf of Down Syndrome International (DSi), the Congress takes place at the Glasgow SEC’s Scottish Event Campus between 25th-27th July.

Held every two years at different locations across the world, Congress offers a unique environment for health professionals to share experiences, best practice and learnings through a detailed programme of oral presentations, practice workshops and Meet the Expert sessions.

This year, the Congress will host 12 plenary speakers working across the health and education sectors including Anthony J Holland, Health Foundation Chair in Learning Disability at the University of Cambridge, Brian Skotko, Co-Director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Sue Buckley OBE, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disability at the University of Portsmouth and founder of Down Syndrome Education International (DSE). A full list of plenary speakers can be found here.

Healthcare providers working with children and adults with Down’s syndrome, have also been invited to attend a special one day Health Symposium at the Scottish Event Campus on Tuesday 24th July. The event, organised by Down Syndrome International and advised by the UK & Ireland and US Down Syndrome Medical Interest Groups, is a rare opportunity for those who specialise in clinical practice and Down’s syndrome research, to come together and consider current, important developments in prevalent medical conditions, with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes. This year’s Symposium speakers include;

  • Dr Peter Gillett, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh who will cover ‘emerging issues relating to coeliac disease in children with Down’s syndrome’;
  • Catherine M. Hill, Associate Professor of Child Health at the University of Southampton who will reveal the latest research into ‘sleep disordered breathing in children with Down’s syndrome’;
  • Dr Anna Esbensen, Associate Professor and Research Director at the Jane and Richard Thomas Center for Down Syndrome, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, who will discuss ‘mental health in adults with Down syndrome.’

With over 150 individual sessions, this is an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals who care for people with Down’s syndrome to participate in some continuing professional development specific to the condition.

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said:

“I am extremely proud that Scotland is hosting the World Down Syndrome Congress, the first time the congress has met in the UK for more than 30 years. We want Scotland to be seen as a global leader in the care and development of people with learning disabilities. Scotland’s commitment to inclusion and respect is reflected in the fact that Glasgow taxi drivers and hoteliers are enthusiastically taking part in special training to provide high quality service for people with Down Syndrome and their families ahead of the congress.”

Pandora Summerfield, CEO of Down’s Syndrome Scotland said:

“This is a great opportunity for Health Professionals worldwide to hear high quality presentations of research work from around the globe.  The World Down Syndrome Congress is one of a very few global events which brings together researchers, practitioners, children, young people and adults with Down’s Syndrome and their families to share ideas and consider not just the cutting edge developments, but  how research and practice can actually improve lives.”

To register and book tickets for the World Downs Syndrome Congress 2018 and/or the Health Symposium, please visit here or call us on 0131 306 0120. A full conference programme can be found here.



Notes for Editors

Organiser information
The Congress is hosted by Down’s Syndrome Scotland on behalf of Down Syndrome International (DSi).

DSi is a UK based international charity, comprising a membership of individuals and organisations from all over the world, committed to improving quality of life for people with Down syndrome worldwide and promoting their inherent right to be accepted and included as valued and equal members of their communities.

Down’s Syndrome Scotland are the only charity in Scotland focused solely on the needs of people with Down’s syndrome and their families.  They provide information, support and services for people with Down’s syndrome, their families, carers and those with a professional interest. They also seek to improve awareness, knowledge and understanding within society.

Press Guidelines:

As an organisation we are very conscious about the language that we use. In the interests of accuracy, we would appreciate it if you could refer to our Press Guidelines when writing editorial:


Don’t say Say
Down’s baby/child/person; Mongol baby/child/person with Down’s syndrome (Ds) or who has Down’s syndrome (Ds)
Down’s/Downs/Down/Down’s Syndrome Down’s syndrome
Suffers/ victim of Down’s syndrome has Down’s syndrome
Backward/mentally handicapped/retarded/slow/mong learning disability
Handicap/illness/disease genetic condition/condition
The risk of having a baby with Down’s syndrome the chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome
Abbreviate as DSS (Down’s Syndrome Scotland) DS Scotland
Abbreviate as DSS (Down’s Syndrome Sports) DSSports


People-first language

It is important to reiterate that we practice “people first” language.  A person with Down’s syndrome is NOT a Down’s child. They are ARE a person with Down’s syndrome.

We know “people with Down’s syndrome” is a higher word count than “Down’s child”. However, you can abbreviate Down’s syndrome to Ds after the first mention of “person/child/adult with Down’s syndrome.”


British English American/International English
Down’s syndrome Down syndrome



Myths Facts
People with Down’s syndrome are always happy and enjoy art, theatre and music. Just like anyone else, people with Down’s syndrome are all unique individuals with different gifts, abilities and personalities.
People with Down’s syndrome will all have health issues. Health conditions vary depending on the individual’s genetics and many people may not have any issues at all.
People with Down’s syndrome all look the same. Certain physical characteristics can occur but people with Down’s syndrome may have some, all or none of these characteristics. People with Down’s syndrome look more like their family members than other people with Down’s syndrome.
People with Down’s syndrome cannot achieve normal life achievements. Many children with Down’s syndrome attend mainstream school and many adults can live independently and hold down jobs with support.
Only older mums have babies with Down’s syndrome. Although the chance of a woman having a child with Down’s syndrome increases with her age at the time of conception, 80 per cent of children with Down’s syndrome are born to women younger than 35.
People with Down’s syndrome will not have a long life. People with Ds can now live into their 70s.


Further Information about Down’s Syndrome Scotland:

  • Down’s Syndrome Scotland (DSS) is a parent led charity which was established in 1982
  • We are the only charity in Scotland dedicated solely to supporting people with Down’s syndrome (Ds) and their carers
  • Down’s Syndrome Scotland provides “all through life” support nationally across Scotland
  • We work to help people with Down’s syndrome reach their full potential by providing information and support to them, their families, carers and professionals at whatever age and stage of life
  • We also work to influence government policy to ensure that the society in which we all live reflects the needs of people with Down’s syndrome.


Press contact
  • James Walter
    PR Director
    Candid Media
    Mobile: 07796 445 753
    Landline: 0131 558 1732
    E-mail: [email protected]

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