Glasgow – World Down Syndrome Congress 2018

To read on WSDC website:

World Down Syndrome Congress 2018



Experience, Research and Practice, widening opportunities, improving lives

25th – 27th July 2018, SEC, Glasgow, Scotland


Down’s Syndrome Scotland and the glorious city of Glasgow look forward to welcoming you in July 2018.

The World Congress brings together people who have Down’s syndrome, their families, carers and others who have an interest in their lives.  Delegates come from all around the world and we are expecting well over 1,000 people to attend.  If you come, we guarantee a unique experience.

Event Overview

The Congress programme is designed to provide delegates with a range of speakers giving different perspectives on Down’s syndrome. Our aim is for it to be informative and to encourage debate amongst delegates through plenary sessions, selected workshops and presentations.  All these offer delegates a chance to look in more depth at examples of new or emerging research and good practice, as well as hear the exciting developments in the lives of people with Down’s syndrome.

The main programme runs Wednesday 25th, Thursday 26th and Friday 27th July.  With 10 plenary speakers, over 100 sessions including oral presentations, practice workshops, How to…? and Ask the Expert sessions,  as well as performances, exhibitions and a dedicated programme for delegates with Down’s syndrome. The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport will address the Congress during the Opening Ceremony.

The Lord Provost of Glasgow will welcome delegates to the city at a Civic Reception in the Glasgow Science Centre on the Wednesday evening. On Thursday, delegates can learn to Strip the Willow and do The Dashing White Sergeant at the Family Scottish Evening, while on Friday, celebrate a great congress and say goodbye to your newly made friends at the Gala Dinner.

On Tuesday 24th July there will be a Health Symposium for Healthcare providers and researchers with a special interest in the clinical care of people with Down’s syndrome.  On the same day, The Gathering of delegates with Down’s syndrome will take place.

This jam packed Congress is not to be missed!

To view the plenary speakers who are taking part in this Congress please click here.

Meet our Lead Commissioners

Andrew, Sam and Stuart are our Lead Commissioners; they helped us develop the bid to host the Congress.  Now, they are helping us to recruit and train people with Down’s syndrome who will be actively involved in planning and delivering aspects of the Congress.

You can see them taking part in the handover ceremony at the 12th Congress in Chennai, India in the video on the left of this page.

Finally, just a word about “Down’s or Down”.  We know that there are differing views about this and different parts of the world use one or other.  In Scotland (and other parts of the UK) our parent lead organisations use Down’s.  In material that Down’s Syndrome Scotland author, we will use Down’s and in the spirit of inclusion and embracing difference, we really don’t mind which you use.  We hope you don’t either.


At the Congress, we aim to present the most significant scientific advances in all the major disciplines connected with Down’s syndrome.  These may include and are not limited to health, education, employment, adequate standards of living and social protection, legal recognition, participation in public and political life, independent living, being included in the community and cultural, recreational, leisure and sporting participation.

If you have undertaken research in any of these disciplines, we encourage you to submit an abstract for consideration.

Lived Experience

We know that the real life experiences of people with Down’s syndrome and their families gives them a unique perspective.  We also know that one family’s experiences or achievements can inspire and encourage the next family to do, or expect something different.

If you have Down’s syndrome, or you have a relative that does and they or you have a story, experience or achievement to share, then we encourage you to submit a Lived Experience Presentation proposal.

Please make sure you give us as much detail as possible about your proposed presentation content.  Try to make sure that it gives us enough information to compare your proposal with the others we have submitted in order that we can make a choice, as we expect more proposals than space available in the programme.


Do you and/or your team do good work with people with Down’s syndrome?  Does your work give great results and benefits for people with Down’s syndrome?  Do you think it could be replicated by others?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, we’d like you to run a workshop about it!  Our international audience of people with Down’s syndrome, parents, carers, practitioners and medics want to hear about effective work in other countries, so they can take back ideas to their own.

If your work is targeted at people with learning disabilities and includes several people with Down’s syndrome, we’d still like to hear from you. You can work in any discipline ie sport, youth work, education, health etc.

We are particularly keen to hear about practice that helps to ensure inclusion for people with Down’s syndrome into society.


We have had so many requests from performers that we have decided to have a performance strand.  Performances may happen at a range of times during the Congress – eg during the programme, in the same space that we hold the plenaries (large auditorium) or during lunch or evening breaks.

Performances can be either 20 or 30 minutes long.

If you’re a dancer, musician, actor or any other kind of performer and you’d like to give a performance whilst you attend WDSC2018, you can submit a proposal by filling in the form.

You can also propose to run a workshop in your art form.  You will need to bring any necessary equipment etc that may be required to run the workshop.  Workshops can be for 30 mins or 1 hour.

We are delighted to announce that Registration for the Congress is now open.








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