International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Down Syndrome

Welcome to the Down Syndrome Special Interest Research Group

Our SIRG welcomes and accommodates members from IASSIDD who are interested and involved in research and its application in the field of Down syndrome.


Representative to Council: Rhonda Faragher

Chair: Rhonda Faragher. r.faragher@uq.edu.au

Vice-Chair: Monica Cuskelly. Monica.cuskelly@utas.edu.au

Secretary/ Treasurer: Karen Watchman. Karen.watchman@stir.ac.uk

Past Chair: Prof Roy Brown. royibrown@shaw.ca

JPPID Associate Editor Representative: Jill Porter. j.porter@reading.ac.uk


Prof Sue Buckley. Sue.buckley@dseinternational.org

Dr Masauso Chirwa. chirwamas@yahoo.com

Prof Antonia Coppus. Tonnie.coppus@radboudumc.nl

Dr Esther Joosa. estherjoosa@gmail.com


Karen Watchman,
E-mail: karenwatchman@hotmail.com


Rhonda Faragher,

E-mail: r.faragher@uq.edu.au


The special interest research group on Down syndrome exists to encourage research and the application of research in the field of Down syndrome while recognizing that many aspects of the research conducted in the field of Down syndrome will be in common with that focusing on other intellectual disabilities. The membership of the SIRG will encourage and develop planning and policy documents in relation to the needs of individuals with Down syndrome and their families worldwide. Co-ordination with other bodies interested in this field is encouraged and dissemination of knowledge based on scientific research and application will be a primary role.


  • To provide a focus for the worldwide exchange and dissemination of research and application in relation to Down syndrome.
  • To serve as a medium for discussion, exchange of ideas, development of knowledge and experience, which will result in the publication, and dissemination of information both at international and national levels in relation to practice in the field of Down syndrome.
  • To promote, through research and application, the appropriate inclusion of persons with Down syndrome and their families in all relevant aspects of community living consistent with the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
  • To provide a scientific basis for the assistance of professionals in the field working with individuals who have Down syndrome.


  • The Down syndrome SIRG will focus on research development and its application and pay particular attention to countries represented in IASSID, and Down Syndrome International.
  • Its focus in terms of research will include education, physical and mental health, all facets of development and inclusion of people with Down syndrome across their lifespan. This will include the issues of Down syndrome in the context of multiple diagnoses.
  • It will be sensitive to the rights of people with Down syndrome and their families and address issues of discrimination internationally as well as nationally.
  • Its aim will be to raise awareness of Down syndrome in member countries and promote development of effective practice based on research as well as highlight areas of concern in terms of Down syndrome.
  • It will disseminate information about Down syndrome through appropriate journals as well as other publications, including materials that may be developed from time to time by the SIRG.
  • It will be sensitive to the needs of people with Down syndrome and their families through the dissemination of research and applied knowledge
  • It will carry out the above, particularly in needy communities, in concert with like minded organisations
  • It will support the work of the IASSIDD Academy on education and training
  • It will:

1) Provide a forum for discussion and synthesis of information about Down syndrome,
2) Encourage a review of research into Down syndrome,
3) Consider and encourage the application of research to practice,
4) Encourage development and exploration in relation to new research frontiers for both its members and other scientific communities concerned with Down syndrome.