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Overcoming challenges for people with Down syndrome through awareness, training, and social accountability

Staff Correspondent: People with Down syndrome face challenges from family, society, and service providers, but positive attitude, effectively allocating resources, and monitoring social accountability can significantly improve their opportunities, according to experts at a roundtable discussion. Titled “Challenges and Opportunities for Children with Down Syndrome in Bangladesh,” the event was organized by the Centre for Disability in Development (CDD) in partnership with Liliane Fonds and The Daily Industry on Monday. “From this discussion, we can identify the challenges that people with Down syndrome face, and the opportunities that they can access at different levels of the society to transform them into resources,” CDD’s Chairman Jowaherul Islam Mamun said.

He noted the potential for employment of people with Down syndrome if proper training is provided, mentioning S Rafan Razzak, a youth with Down syndrome who films and edits his own YouTube vlogs.

SM Ali Hasnain Fatme, Programme Manager, Child Empowerment Programme of CDD, made a brief introduction to the programme. Professor Dr Sarder A Nayeem, Chairman at Japan Bangladesh Friendship Foundation, stressed the importance of identifying individual interests to include people with Down syndrome into mainstream society. Experts: People with Down Syndrome need rehabilitation, inclusionExperts: People with Down Syndrome need rehabilitation, inclusion

Alodia Santos, Liliane Fonds’ Organizational Development Adviser, said with appropriate support, many individuals with Down syndrome can attend school and secure livelihoods. The Managing Director of Neuro-Developmental Disabilities Protection Trust, Md Shah Alam, the Chief guest of the event highlighted that the government is now more committed to supporting people with disabilities including people with Down syndrome.

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