The Incredible Impact of the World Down Syndrome Congress
The World Down Syndrome Congress which was held in Glasgow in July 2018 was recognised as a leading example of excellence within the global meetings industry thanks to the success of its Commissioner Programme which was first developed when Down Syndrome Scotland and Glasgow began bidding to host the congress.
The programme placed three local young people with Down syndrome - Sam, Andrew and Stuart - at the very heart of Glasgow’s campaign to bring the congress to Scotland and subsequently put them at the forefront of the conference itself.
The associations, DSS and DSi, were presented with an Incredible Impact Award and received a $7,500 grant towards future work of this kind in subsequent World Down Syndrome Congresses.
The goal of the Commissioner Programme was to encourage Sam, Stuart and Andrew to tell their story and inspire other young people with Down syndrome from Scotland and the rest of the world to get involved in the Congress, helping to realise DSI’s vision of “People with Down syndrome living healthy and meaningful lives in the community”.
In March 2018, to coincide with Down Syndrome Awareness Week, DSS in partnership with Glasgow Convention Bureau, VisitScotland and Glasgow Welcomes hosted People Make Glasgow Welcome workshops. These were delivered by members of the Commissioner Programme and tailored for front of house staff across the hospitality industry in Glasgow including hotels, restaurants, venues, taxi drivers and visitor attractions. The workshops aimed to educate customer facing staff about Down syndrome, remove some of the stigma surrounding the condition and ensure that all delegates received a warm and appropriate welcome when the Congress took place.