A world in which people with disabilities participate fully in society on equal terms with everyone else.
To improve quality of life for people with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities, enabling their full inclusion in society as well as their attainment of well-being, self-determination, personal development, respect, and dignity at the highest levels.
Principles and values
- Human rights
Our concern for the well-being and rights of people with intellectual disabilities is based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that people with disabilities must be able to exercise their civil, political, social and cultural rights and duties on equal terms with all other citizens. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities corroborates these rights.
- Definition of disability
We share the World Health Organization's view of disability as a complex phenomenon resulting from the interaction between a person's health, individual factors and the features of the society in which he or she lives.
We work for social change and strive to make inclusive action a priority, so that the needs of people with disabilities will be always taken into account.
We advocate cross-cutting policies rather than disability-specific policies.
We firmly believe that people with intellectual disabilities are active subjects who can manage their own lives with the requisite individualized support. We work so they can attain autonomy and self-determination at the highest level, with prospects for the future and social development. We also seek to provide them with training, access to information and a strong media presence so that they can speak for themselves and influence society.
- Support for families
We recognize the importance of families as the main reference framework in the course of a person's life. We believe that collaboration among people with disabilities, their families, and professionals must be the backbone of any support, care or decision-making offered to them. We believe that both people with disabilities and their family members must be active participants in any such process, and that their views should always be taken into account. We offer families support so they can enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
- Integrated care
We work for people with disabilities with a whole-person approach based on an individually tailored bio-psycho-social model at every stage in life. We foster participation in society for the fullest possible skill development.
People with disabilities must have the same access to health care as everyone else according to their needs. We share the WHO's definition of health as not only the absence of disease but as a state of physical, psychological and social well-being. People with disabilities are entitled to receive training and information regarding all aspects of their health status, including their reproductive health.
We work towards a more just society with greater solidarity. We believe in equal opportunity and in non-discrimination, and value diversity as a source of wealth. People with disabilities must have access to all public and private services exactly like all their fellow citizens.
Every person is entitled to receive an education. In an inclusive society, children with disabilities are entitled to mainstream schooling alongside all the other children. Education must be individually tailored to meet their specific needs.
- Independent living
People with disabilities are entitled to decide where and with whom they want to live. This is only possible if they have the requisite support (both formal and natural) and if housing policies foster an affordable, accessible housing market. People with disabilities should enjoy living conditions based on their own expectations, tastes and preferences.
- Legal capacity
All individuals have the same rights and duties. People with disabilities should have access to the necessary tools to ensure the enjoyment and exercise of these rights and duties on equal terms with everybody else in order to preserve their self-determination as much as possible.
- Employment and vocational training
People with disabilities are entitled to enter the mainstream labor market according to their interests and areas of competence. They are also entitled to the requisite support and to lifelong vocational training to consolidate and enhance their employment. We take steps to ensure that employment policies meet their needs.
We believe that people with disabilities are entitled to enjoy their leisure time at the highest standards of quality. We believe that their leisure activities should be inclusive and normalised and must foster self-determination as a fundamental factor.
We play a leading role in spearheading international research on and dissemination of all biomedical and psycho-social advances regarding Down syndrome and intellectual disability. We actively seek new care models for every stage in life and are committed to innovation, development and quality in all our services. We want to share our research findings and identified good practices with all of society, through awareness raising, dissemination and education.
- Efficient management
We are socially committed to an effective and efficient use of all the public and private resources we manage and to their fair and equitable allocation. We believe that transparency in our activities, accounts and balance sheets is essential in order to earn the trust of society.
- Followup and assessment of our services
All our services are regularly reviewed and assessed to ensure that they continue to meet the changing needs of individuals and society and in order to keep improving our management system.
People with disabilities and their families must have the chance to participate in this process.
We work to reach our goals through a multidisciplinary team with a common project and great commitment to the Foundation's mission, principles and values. We believe in the continued development of all our team members through training and participation.
Our organizational model is based on communication and individual responsibility. It comprises information, evaluation and control systems, and is geared to providing satisfaction to the people we serve.
- To set up, expand and improve any services deemed necessary in order to address known and emerging needs.
- To serve as a standing body for biomedical, psychological, educational and social research, study and training.
- To implement other activities related to the two above objectives in order to meet the social, personal and family needs of people with disabilities.