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Basic Human Right Of People With Down Syndrome

1347 words - 6 pages

People with Down syndrome have been mistreated, terminated as a foetus, and denied basic human rights such as education and medical treatment (Smith, 2011). Why are people with Down syndrome treated differently from the rest of society? This may be due to the lack of understanding and respect given to them, therefore creating a stereotype against Down syndrome. This essay will discuss the challenges faced by people with Down syndrome, as well as the effectiveness of current policies and services available for them.
My uncle ran away from home in 2013, only to be found a day later by patrolling policemen. He was born with Down syndrome and lives with my grandparents. Being old and frail, they ...view middle of the document...

In 2010, about 9,500 babies were born to mothers aged 35 or greater (Tan T. , 2011). As screening for Down syndrome is not compulsory (SingHealth, 2013), mothers may not be aware that their foetus has a birth defect. There is also the possibility whereby the mother would decide against abortion, hence bringing the child with Down syndrome into the world. Therefore, it is important that services are provided for the people with Down syndrome to give them the opportunity to contribute to society.
There are many services available to aid the development of people with Down syndrome, like teaching vocational skills or independence. The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled in Singapore [MINDS] (2010a) offers the aforementioned services and aims to assist the mentally disabled to be “integrated as contributing and responsible citizens in Singapore”. The organisation has services catered for every age group, starting from the disabled as young as seven. Special education schools are available for those between seven and eighteen and the students are grouped according to their age and ability. Although each group has varied styles of teaching, they share a common goal to render a “vibrant learning environment that motivates students towards independence and integration into society” (Movement for the Intellectually Disabled in Singapore, 2010a). Adults aged 18 and above are eligible to join either the Employment Development Centre [EDC] or the Training and Development Centre [TDC]. In the EDC, individuals participate in programmes and activities aimed to build their vocational skills. The adults who require more assistance can enter the TDC, which “provide[s] training in activities of everyday living skills, community living skills, social and recreational skills in addition to pre-vocational skills training programs [sic]”. Besides MINDS, the Down Syndrome Association of Singapore [DSA] offers an integrated programme of learning life skills and participate in leisure activities. Students would be taught vocational, social and interaction skills for about a year, subsequently going for training under a social enterprise to prime them for entering the workforce. Apart from that, leisure activities such as community sports and learning outings are organised for them as a medium for social interaction among themselves (Down Syndrome Association, Singapore, 2014a). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory focuses on the person developing within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment. The services offered by MINDS and DSA comprises of the microsystem and exosystem in their lives. The special schools and leisure activities organised by MINDS and DSA, as well as friends of people the with Down syndrome and social workers, are part of the microsystem, which consists of activities and direct interactions in the person’s immediate surroundings. The exosystem, which is made up of social settings that do...

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