Friday, December 15, 2017

World Down Syndrome Day marked with conferences


Keynote speaker: David Egan

Mark Fraser

To celebrate the United Nations’ World Down Syndrome Day tomorrow, Down Syndrome Family Network will host its third annual World Down Syndrome Day Conference. With the theme of “Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for All” this year’s annual conference will focus on the importance of health and inclusive health services for those with Down syndrome.

The DSFN World Down Syndrome Day Conference features full-day sessions in both Trinidad and Tobago. Tomorrow the conference opens at Magdalena Grand Resort in Tobago and Saturday at the Hyatt Regency, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain. The sessions include educational workshops for parents and caregivers, self-advocate training for those with Down syndrome, and fun events.

International self-advocate for Down syndrome and athlete David Egan joins the conference as its keynote speaker. Hailing from Virginia, USA, 36-year-old Egan is an inspiring example of someone dreaming big and accomplishing much for others with intellectual disabilities.

Egan plays and competes in football, basketball, softball, tennis, and swimming on a national and international level. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, in the year 2000, he was elected to represent the State of Virginia at the Global Athlete Congress in the Netherlands, and in 2010 at the Global Athlete Congress in Morocco. He has been involved in Community outreach starting in 1999 when he volunteered at the Special Olympics World Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and in 2011 in Athens, Greece.

Egan currently serves on several boards to promote abilities and collaborate with other advocacy groups.

“We are thrilled to have Mr David Egan here in Trinidad to speak at our World Down Syndrome Day Conference,” said Glen Niles, founder and president of DSFN. “He is real-life proof that persons with Down syndrome can work, compete and achieve goals that we consider impossible; once they are given the opportunity to learn and to be independent with early intervention. We look forward to him encouraging our own self advocates and to raise the awareness in their families of their children’s greater potential.”

For more information about the Down Syndrome Family Network and the conference, please visit or