Western Australia’s Disability Services has gone live with a new website that offers information about the health considerations of people with Down syndrome.
The My Voice My Health website was designed by Down Syndrome Western Australia through the funding provided by the state’s Department of Communities.
The online resource hub has information on health topics relevant to people with DS; lists of public health providers, peak bodies and non-profit organisations across WA that provides support for health conditions affecting persons with DS; and resources for health professionals, including checklists and communication tips for working with people with DS and other developmental disabilities.
WHY IT MATTERS
It is estimated that about one in every 1,100 babies born in Australia will develop Down syndrome, which is one of the most common chromosome disorders in the world.
In a media release, Disability Services Minister Don Punch said the My Voice My Health website will empower families, carers and people living with DS with important information and be a “useful tool when visiting health professionals”.
“People with Down syndrome are living long and fulfilling lives, with plenty of opportunities to make their own choices and live independently. My Voice My Health is an excellent example of how we can use information technology to enable people with disability to live their best life,” he said.
Other countries have also launched similar digital resources to support the well-being of people with DS. In the United Kingdom, the Down’s Syndrome Association has developed the Health Swap app to empower people with DS to make positive lifestyle choices while improving their digital skills.
In the United States, a platform called Down Syndrome Clinic to You provides up-to-date, personalised health and wellness information to persons with DS. It also assists caregivers and primary care providers in giving evidence-based care in the absence of a specialist. It was developed by research and clinical teams from the Down Syndrome Program and Lab of Computer Science at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated academic hospital.