Downsed International is the website of Down Syndrome Education International: a UK based organisation working to educate professionals, service users, and carers about the developmental processes of people with Down syndrome and how best to support them.
Their recently updated website is attractively designed yet clearly laid out and easy to navigate. The organisation are obviously experimenting with the latest web technologies to engage their users including: a series of Down Syndrome Education International RSS news feeds to which users can subscribe; a blog called Frank Talk where Frank Buckley - Chief Executive - shares his views about Down Syndrome related issues; and a wide list of discussion groups for families, professionals and researchers.
The site content includes a rich seam of educational, research and training resources some of which are available for sale from an online store and some of which can be downloaded for free including an excellent series of publications called Down Syndrome Information and Issues . Most notable however, and reason enough to make this website of the month, is the open access peer-reviewed journal 'Down Syndrome Research and Practice'. This multidisciplinary journal - the official journal of the European Down Syndrome Association - publishes high quality "news, reviews and peer-reviewed scientific papers of importance to the quality of life of people with Down syndrome." Downsed International recently adopted an open access policy for the journal and all issues - from the first issue in 1993 - are available online. This is a highly commendable stance and we hope it encourages other social care organisations to adopt a similar open access policy.
That the site is still under development is evident in the occasional dead-end or broken link. It contains so much material that (in spite of the new navigation) it's still possible to get lost. However, content is king and Downsed International contains a mass of material that will enrich the learning of anyone interested in Down Syndrome.
Visit the site: Down Syndrome Education Online