World Down Syndrome Congress 2018

Experience, Research and Practice, widening opportunities, improving lives

25th – 27th July 2018, SEC, Glasgow, Scotland










Down’s Syndrome Scotland and the glorious city of Glasgow look forward to welcoming you in July 2018.

The World Congress brings together people who have Down’s syndrome, their families, carers and others who have an interest in their lives.  Delegates come from all around the world and we are expecting well over 1,000 people to attend.  If you come, we guarantee a unique experience.

Event Overview

The Congress programme is designed to provide delegates with a range of speakers giving different perspectives on Down’s syndrome. Our aim is for it to be informative and to encourage debate amongst delegates through plenary sessions, selected workshops and presentations.  All these offer delegates a chance to look in more depth at examples of new or emerging research and good practice, as well as hear the exciting developments in the lives of people with Down’s syndrome.

The main programme runs Wednesday 25th, Thursday 26th and Friday 27th July.  With 10 plenary speakers, over 100 sessions including oral presentations, practice workshops, and Ask the Expert sessions,  as well as performances, exhibitions and a dedicated programme for delegates with Down’s syndrome. The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport will address the Congress during the Opening Ceremony.

The Lord Provost of Glasgow will welcome delegates to the city at a Civic Reception in the Glasgow Science Centre on the Wednesday evening. On Thursday, delegates can learn to Strip the Willow and do The Dashing White Sergeant at the Family Scottish Evening, while on Friday, celebrate a great congress and say goodbye to your newly made friends at the Gala Dinner.

On Tuesday 24th July there will be a Health Symposium for Healthcare providers and researchers with a special interest in the clinical care of people with Down’s syndrome.  On the same day, The Gathering of delegates with Down’s syndrome will take place.

This jam packed Congress is not to be missed!

To view the plenary speakers who are taking part in this Congress please click here.


Finally, just a word about “Down’s or Down”.  We know that there are differing views about this and different parts of the world use one or other.  In Scotland (and other parts of the UK) our parent lead organisations use Down’s.  In material that Down’s Syndrome Scotland author, we will use Down’s and in the spirit of inclusion and embracing difference, we really don’t mind which you use.  We hope you don’t either.

Meet our Lead Commissioners

Andrew, Sam and Stuart are our Lead Commissioners; they helped us develop the bid to host the Congress.  Now, they are helping us to recruit and train people with Down’s syndrome who will be actively involved in planning and delivering aspects of the Congress.

You can see them taking part in the handover ceremony at the 12th Congress in Chennai, India in the video on the left of this page.


We are delighted to announce that Registration for the Congress is now open.