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.
Over 300 attendances were recorded at these workshop sessions, ensuring that not only were the city’s tourism and hospitality businesses prepared for the WDS Congress but were now better equipped to engage with Glaswegians and future visitors to the city who also have Down syndrome.
The initiative was such a success that DSI plan to encourage and support future hosts to replicate a local commissioner programme in future congresses in Dubai and Brisbane, utilising Down’s Syndrome Scotland’s experience and expertise to pass this on to the next host cities, using the funding from the award grant.
Over 1,000 people attended the Glasgow congress, bringing together a range of professionals and researchers from health and social care, education, employment and human rights. People with Down syndrome and their families.