The Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation (JDSF) is a nonprofit organization established on October 26, 2007.
We are a member of Down Syndrome International (DSI) and were signatories to the 2011 successful appeal of DSI to the United Nations to recognize March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day. In commemoration of the day, the JDSF arranges activities locally to bring awareness of the condition.
We are committed to empowering families and caregivers of children with Down Syndrome (DS) by way of education and communication. This will help children with DS achieve their highest potential.
A study conducted by the JDSF shows that the incidence of Down Syndrome in Jamaica is 1 in 868 live births. This is in keeping with the international experience. Presently, over 600 families of children with Down Syndrome have registered with the Foundation.
It has now been well documented that early intervention will result in children with Down Syndrome having better skills, higher levels of function and a better quality of life . Early intervention means that children with Down Syndrome will also live longer. The life expectancy for people living with DS has now increased to 60 years.
Our aim, therefore, is to provide increased social acceptance of Down Syndrome, provide parent education and promote early intervention.
Establish and maintain a database of families with children living with Down Syndrome.
Provide emotional support and connect families to better enable them to face the challenges they will encounter in raising a child with Down Syndrome.
Increase social awareness and acceptance of the condition by providing educational material and seminars for families, health care providers, educators and the general public.
Guide caregivers to make the best use of available resources.