Register today! Inscrivez-vous aujourd'hui!

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Friday, 22 April 2016


Only three more days to save on your conference registration and hotel room! Join us at the Canadian Down Syndrome Conference in Montreal at the Delta Montreal. All speaker bio and session descriptions have been posted - so plan your stay AND your weekend. We can’t wait to see you!

Ils vous reste que trois jours pour économiser sur votre inscription et votre chambre d'hôtel! Joignez vous à nous au Congrès canadien de la trisomie 21 à Montréal au Delta. Toutes bios des orateurs et descriptions sont mises à jour - alors planifiez votre séjour et votre fin de semaine. Nous vous attendons!

Join us in Montreal!

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Conference
Friday, 01 April 2016

The Canadian Down Syndrome Conference is in less than two months. Check out for the latest news - in English AND French!


The Current: CDSS joins in a discussion regarding Down syndrome and immigration

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Tuesday, 22 March 2016

From The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti:

The CurrentIn 2013, environmental studies professor Felipe Montoya landed a job at York University, in Toronto, and all that was left to do was relocate his family from Costa Rica to Canada, and apply for permanent residency.

But Canadian immigration officials rejected Felipe Montoya's residency application, arguing his 13-year-old son Nico would be a burden on taxpayers because of his Down syndrome. What followed was a long, drawn-out fight in hopes of reversing the decision arguing his son was being discriminated against because of his genetic identity.

The Montoya case highlights raises questions about how society views people with Down syndrome — such as they are sick or need intensive care, adds to a stigma that is not the reality.

The Current invited a panel to shatter misconceptions of Down syndrome.

Guests in this segment:

Will Brewer, 30-year-old living with Down syndrome and a member of Voices at the Table for Advocacy, a working group at the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

Allison Brewer, Will's mother, is chair person of the Halifax, Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society.

Kirk Crowther, executive director of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society in Ottawa.

Listen here.

An open letter to The Honourable John McCallum

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Tuesday, 15 March 2016

An open letter to The Honourable John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship:

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is providing this letter in support of Felipe Montoya and his family, along with the numerous people from around the world who are denied immigration to Canada because of out-dated and discriminatory policies and language regarding disabilities.

The record of successful immigration to Canada for an individual with Down syndrome is poor. As a voice for families supporting individuals with Down syndrome, CDSS feels that the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) policy view of people with Down syndrome is obsolete, prejudicial, and in direct contradiction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canada’s current Immigration and Citizenship Act, states, "a foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.” A fair and equitable review of any immigration application would focus on the individual contributions of the applicants, not generalities. Today, many Canadian with Down syndrome are going to post-secondary schools, working in competitive jobs, and when given the opportunity, are fully-contributing members of society.

A recent copy of a permanent resident visa assessment letter from the Government of Canada, stated: “The applicant has a diagnosis of mental retardation, in which case is one of the features of Down syndrome.” Down syndrome, in itself, is not a health condition, disease, or medical condition and should never be referred to as “mental retardation.” No one should be denied access to Canada based on the fact that they are a person with Down syndrome.

In March 2011, Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Included in this convention (Article 18), it is clearly indicated, in part, that state parties, “shall recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to liberty of movement, to freedom to choose their residence and to a nationality, on an equal basis with others.” Further, it states that persons with disabilities, “have the right to acquire and change a nationality and are not deprived of their nationality arbitrarily or on the basis of disability.”

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society requests a review of the Immigration and Citizenship Act policy regarding people with disabilities, such as Down syndrome. We encourage the Government of Canada to amend it, to make it free of prejudice based upon stereotypes or inaccurate information related to the determination of Down syndrome. Discrimination of any person on the basis of disability is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.


Kirk Crowther

Executive Director
Canadian Down Syndrome Society

Announcement about the CDSS Calendar

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Monday, 14 March 2016

Due to low sales and the high cost of production, we will not be producing a CDSS Member Calendar this year. Thanks to all of you who participated in previous years. We look forward to working on new and exciting advocacy projects in its place!

There are many local group calendars - please email us at if your group has their own calendar and we will post that information on our website.

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