International conference “People with down syndrome and other mental characteristics: the right to the future”

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Международная конференция «Люди с синдромом Дауна и другими ментальными особенностями: право на будущее»

On 1 and 2 December in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the office of the company Mail.Ru Group will host an international conference “People with down syndrome and other mental characteristics: the right to the future”, initiated by the charity Fund “downside Up” and timed to the 20th anniversary. The purpose of the conference is to develop recommendations for work to support and develop the potential of people with down syndrome and other mental features and their inclusion in society. The two-day event will be supported by the presidential grants of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation (Commission for the development of the nonprofit sector), the public relations Committee of Moscow, the Ministry of economic development of the Russian Federation, the Charitable Foundation Elena and Gennady Timchenko and the company Mail.Ru Group. The conference will be attended by representatives of state structures and NGOs, parents of people with down syndrome and volunteers with down syndrome, experts from Russia, the Netherlands, USA and Germany.

In the framework of the 1st day of the conference will discuss contemporary approaches to support people with down syndrome and other features of mental development. Will have the opportunity to hear the latest information from foreign experts. During the panel discussions will be: Gert de Graaf – head of scientific and educational directions in Down syndrome Foundation (Denmark), Alexander Borovikh – Director of strategy Department BF “downside Up”, Amy Allison , Executive Director of the nonprofit organization “the Guild of Down Syndrome” (USA), Cora holder – founder of the Down Syndrome InfoCenter (Germany) and member of the Board of Directors of the European Association of down Syndrome, Julia A. Razenkova , head of the laboratory of content and methods of early intervention for children with problems in development of FEDERAL state scientific institution “Institute of correctional pedagogy of the Russian Academy of education” (Moscow) and other speakers.

At the round tables, held within the framework of the conference will exchange views on creation of conditions for realization of opportunities of people with down syndrome and support the development of competent social behavior. Participants will have the opportunity for a joint search for answers to questions about what and how to do that people with down syndrome and other mental features were included into the Russian society. For example, during a round table “Volunteering as a way of integrating people with down syndrome. New value of volunteering for youth” will be presented to successful practice in the area of empowerment of people with down syndrome as volunteers.

On the second day of the conference will include sessions on “Effective practices” in which experts from different organizations will present their experience of supporting people with down syndrome and other mental features. Participants will be able to get acquainted with new approaches and methods of work with such people and their families. Among the participants of these workshops, the regional NGOs providing support to families raising children with down syndrome, including partners of the projects “Sport” and “Sport. Children” in the regions. In the afternoon, DSU will hold a sports and leisure festival, which will be attended by guests and speakers of the conference, as well as people with down syndrome and their families. The festival will be held an open football practice, “cheerful starts”, and after the competition, participants will enjoy a birthday cake and gifts for children.

To see the full conference program and register it on the website of the DSU.

About the problem

Currently there is an active discussion of how to reorganize work to provide social services to people with mental characteristics, including people with down syndrome. Adopted the Concept of development of the Early Help, reorganized the system of state children’s institutions of the family unit, implemented inclusive education. The result of the implementation of the concept of early development should be formed by 2020, the system of the measures directed on creation of conditions for realization of services early help to children of the target group in all the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

However, it is still early help as the system of state support to families with children with disabilities in Russia practically does not exist. Thus, according to the DSU*, 41% of children with down syndrome up to 3 years do not attend on a regular basis, no institutions, 40% of children under 8 years do not receive pre-school education, 59% of families are faced with difficulties when trying to arrange your child in kindergarten.

Still retains the relevance of the issue of creating conditions for the development of the potential of adult people with mental characteristics. Conditions for their full inclusion in the society do not exist. Even the term “disabled” in most people firmly associated with people’s physical features. For such people, the building of various institutions equipped with ramps, create the conditions of the urban environment for the blind, but there is still no solutions for people with mental disabilities. And so, still no answer to the main question: what is the future for people with mental peculiarities? Does our society place for them and where is it? What opportunities they need, so they really can realize their potential and live just next to us a normal life? What steps our country needs to be taken to solve this problem?

BF “downside Up” invites to take part in the International conference “People with down syndrome and other mental characteristics: the right to the future”. For media accreditation to the first day of the conference to address in a press-service BF “downside Up”: a.mishkina@downsideup.org

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