About EDSA

Participation in public life is important for people with Down Syndrome.

The European Down Syndrome Association (EDSA) is a non-profit organization supporting and representing people with Down syndrome across Europe.

EDSA adopts, defends and promotes of the following values:

1. Dignity: the recognition of an individual’s intrinsic value as a person, irrespective of sex, race, origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation.
2. Inclusion. The disability is not in the person but in the relations between the person and his or her environment. Inclusion, which is understood as full social acceptance of the individual with Down syndrome in the community, is the only way for his/her effective social integration and recognition of his/her rights as a citizen.
3. Normalisation. Normalisation is the acknowledgment of the right of each individual to a life as normal as possible, which should not differ from anyone else, notwithstanding the right to the support, necessary to meet individual needs. The consequences should be integration in the community, individual adaptation of services and education towards autonomy.
4. Autonomy. Education and rehabilitation should be directed towards fully developing the potentials of the person with Down syndrome in order to reach a maximum degree of autonomy and the full enjoyment of rights.
5. Self-determination. The ultimate consequence of autonomy is self- determination, i.d. the right to decide on one’s own life. This is intrinsically related to the enjoyment of quality of life. This right transcends the person’s disability and the support of individual needs which should be guaranteed; it should be reinforced in all areas of life.
6. Quality of life. The quality of life of persons with Down syndrome and their families is the point of reference in all actions and areas.
7. Individualisation and specificity. Persons with Down syndrome have the right to receive support according to their needs, their individual characteristics and to the medical, educational and social problems related to the syndrome.

EDSA is a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF) as well as of Down Syndrome International (DSI) and the Trisomy 21 Research Society (T21RS)