Asia-Pacific Down Syndrome Federation (APDSF)

The APDSF is a federation of countries in the Asia Pacific region with representation from its various organisations formed for the betterment of persons with DS. There are three committees which work on a focused agenda: Healthcare, Community Inclusion, and Education.

The decision to set up the APDSF was made by organisations and individuals interested in furthering links and support for each other in the Asia-Pacific region in 1992. The conference was hosted by the Australian Down Syndrome Association and the Chaired by Founding President Penny Robertson OAM. The meeting was attended by delegates from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and India and the Office of the Australian DSA acted as the office for APDSF until 1996.

In 1997 a meeting was held in the Philippines at which the Chair of the APDSF was handed over to Gerard Walmsley. Later in April 2004 along with the WDSC at Singapore it was re-structured and re-organised. It was attended by over 30 people and Dr Balbir Singh was elected as the Chair. Side events were held at the World Down Syndrome Congresses in Canada in 2006, Ireland in 2009 and South Africa in 2012.

Prior to the world Congress in Chennai, India it was decided to reactivate the local conferences and a meet was held in Singapore in 2013. At that meet Dr.Rhonda Faragher was elected as the Chair of APDSF and it was decided to set up a secretariat and that role was taken on by Japan. A meeting was held in February 2014 at Chennai and later in Bali, Indonesia in December 2014. The APDSF had a brief meeting in August 2015 along with the WDSC at Chennai.

This meeting the 5th Meet was originally planned to be held at Australia in August 2016, along with the International Congress of IASSIDD but due to certain unavoidable reasons we had to postpone it and the responsibility was happily taken over once again by Singapore.

At the APDSF meet, it was decided to make APDSF as a registered body that would be able to address the needs of the Down syndrome population in the Asia Pacific Region. Mr. N. Ramachandran was unanimously elected as the Chairperson for the APDSF. The idea was to have the registration done immediately so that the APDSF could start functioning.

APDSF looks at itself as a voice that speaks for the rights of persons with Down syndrome in the Asia Pacific region and a body who can provide support to them. We welcome all countries in the region to become a part of APDSF and empower persons with Down syndrome to have a better future.

Some old memories of the time when APDSF was started! We have come a long way from then, but this was a good start