Historically, millions of people with Down Syndrome have been stigmatized with the word ‘Down’ – a word linked with negative things like ‘you can’t do that, you are sick.’ Our aim was to change perceptions about people with Down Syndrome.
Changing a single word can change everything.
- Corporación Colombiana Síndrome de Down
People with Down Syndrome are not different – they have special skills and see the world with sincerity and honesty.
To remove the stigma, we changed the ‘Down’ word to ‘Up’ because up represents the values and attitudes of the community and reflects positive thinking. Down was the surname of the doctor who discovered the condition, an unfortunate coincidence.
Despite launching the campaign in March 2020 at the start of the global pandemic, it’s had a tremendous impact. The campaign to date has achieved more than 10 million media impressions, $750k in earned media, and the website has received more that 1.5 million visits – helping drive $200k in donations for the Colombia Down Syndrome Corporation. In 2021, the campaign will be relaunched to increase PR and connect with government leaders to propose that March 21 be declared as Up Syndrome Day in Colombia.