The European Down Syndrome Association (EDSA) is a non-profit organisation supporting and representing people with Down syndrome across Europe.
The mission of EDSA is to promote the development of a network of associations for Down syndrome in all European nations, respecting the diversity of cultures and peoples, the common denominator being the improvement of the quality of life for persons with Down syndrome and their families.
EDSA's goals are to:
- promote all actions and efforts which contribute to the welfare of persons with Down Syndrome according to the rights awarded to them by their own constitution, the Declaration of Human Rights and rights of persons with disabilities by the United Nations, and the European convention relating to the protection of fundamental rights and liberties.
- promote the well-being of persons with Down Syndrome in every possible way and area, and in every aspect of life: health, education, personality, autonomy and integration in the society according to the individual’s aspirations and capabilities.
- encourage all scientific efforts towards advances and improvements in medical care, education, rehabilitation, vocational training, employment, leisure and independent living.
- further the interests of persons with Down Syndrome by securing all necessary resources, support and services to that end.
- create a bond among all persons with Down Syndrome, their families, friends and associations. (from Article 3 of the EDSA Bylaws)
For further information about EDSA's identity, mission, values, principles, objectives and priorities, refer to the EDSA Identity Document.
EDSA was established in November 1987. As EDSA's legal base is in Belgium its bylaws are currently only available in Dutch. An English translation will be available soon.
The background to the establishment of EDSA is described in the document EDSA - The Early Years by Professor JA Rondal.
View EDSA's past newsletters
EDSA is a member of the European Disability Forum (EDF) as well as of Down Syndrome International (DSI).