Harley bags dream job after speaking at Geneva

Harley Jolley, from Cornwall, England, is proving just how valuable people with Down syndrome can be in a workforce.

For a long time Harley has dreamed of working for the police. When Harley came to speak at the WDSD event in Geneva, little did he or his family and friends realise just how far that speech would take him.

On 21 March 2019, Harley and his friend Francesca from Cornwall Accessible Activities Program (CAAP) travelled to Geneva to speak at DSi’s WDSD event at the United Nations, advocating for the rights of people with Down syndrome to employment.

In his speech, Harley said that his dream was to work with the Police. Helen Leverty, a Learning Disability Nurse Lecturer who also attended the Geneva event, tweeted about it. Shortly after, the Deputy Chief Constable of  Devon and Cornwall Police re-tweeted that he was interested in making Harley’s dream come true.

Harley and his mum, Patricia, were put in touch with Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit team who arranged training about Down syndrome for the police force and also set up an internship for Harley. 

In October, Harley was given a tour of his local police station and measured up for his uniform. He started work the very next week. Harley works alongside Dave and Karen who have said Harley is doing an amazing job. He is surpassing everything that WorkFit told them he would do.

Patricia Jolley said, “It’s working so well and we are hoping there will be paid work at the end if all works out.”

Huge congratulations to Harley!!

If you would like to attend the next WDSD event in Geneva you can register on the event page


WDSD 2020 theme announced

Down Syndrome International (DSi) are delighted to announce the theme for WDSD 2020, “We Decide”.

Each year DSi presents a “Call to action” for WDSD which is integrated into all of DSi’s WDSD activities. We encourage everyone around the world to do the same.

The theme for 2020, “We Decide” is inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which supports effective and meaningful participation as a core human right.

All people with Down syndrome should have full participation in decision making about matters relating to or affecting their lives.

– Down Syndrome International

Though our WDSD 2020 activities we hope to empower people with Down syndrome to advocate for effective and meaningful participation so that they may reach out to key stakeholders to disseminate this message to bring about change.

Read more and learn how you can get involved on the Call to Action 2020 event page


Presenting the official #LotsOfSocks 2020

It is with enormous pleasure that we present the official #LotsOfSocks design for 2020.

#LotsOfSocks are just one of the ways we get the world talking about Down syndrome on WDSD. Each year Down Syndrome International creates a new official #LotsOfSocks design and the socks are sold around the world to raise awareness. In 2019 over 32,000 pairs were sold!!

Earlier this year we asked you to send us your ideas for the design. We received lots of wonderful suggestions and pictures but there was one that really stood out for us, submitted by Jijo Das. 

We sent Jijo’s artwork to our local designer to create a version that could be put onto socks and the final design is now with the sock manufacturer. You will soon be able to pre-order #LotsOfSocks and our t-shirts from the WDSD shop.

Jijo is the artist behind the brand Art of My Optimus. Jijo’s family describe him as “a warm-hearted, extremely loving & affectionate soul who finds his world in movies and comic books, Jijo is a passionate artist & illustrator with Down syndrome. He may have been a slow learner when it came to cognitive skills, but ever since he learnt how to hold a pencil/chalk he started doing what he loves.”

A huge thank you to Jijo for his inspiring work; we look forward to following his future adventures. You too can follow Jijo on Facebook, Instagram and on YouTube 

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