A new beginning for Inclusion Foundation!

In late 2020 we were excited to announce our new name, Inclusion Foundation, in recognition of our expanded remit to provide employment pathways to people with Down syndrome.

We are equally excited to launch our new brand, purpose and values.

Since 2009, Inclusion Foundation remains committed to championing inclusion for people with Down syndrome across all levels and aspects of society. We believe it is vitally important for all Australians to meet and understand more about the person behind the disability. As such, to further support our purpose we have created a compelling and enduring brand platform.

We believe we have created an environment that embodies the sense of empowerment, determination and support our organisation presents to thousands of Australians with Down syndrome and their families.

Brand Background

Inclusion Foundation is a for-purpose-charity that champions the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. Together, we stand proud, we raise our hands in the air, and we to say, “Count me in!” to society, to business, to governments, to everyone, and anyone.

We are proud to introduce Count Me In! as our new tag line. This is a confident statement designed to inspire whilst bringing a hopeful optimism, it promotes positive possibilities. This strong call to action says there is, and should be, a place in society for those with Down syndrome and empowers employers and the broader community to adopt an open mindset. You’ll see this used across our digital platforms and if you don’t already, please be sure to follow us on social media.

Our reimagined look and feel has been designed with a modern and distinctive brand identity. This includes a suite of logos for the Inclusion Foundation, emotion21 and impact21. The brand identity is inspired by chromosome 21 and we believe the brand visually reflects themes of inclusion, positivity, diversity and respect.

Our purpose is simple. We want to change how the world views and values people with Down syndrome. We want to build an inclusive world where people with Down syndrome are equal, active and respected members of society.

We promise to do this through;

  • Engagement with our community and championing inclusion;
  • Empowerment through social inclusion and facilitating greater independence;
  • Education for everyone involved, particularly elevating and inspiring people with Down Syndrome to do more, be more and achieve more; and
  • Energy, positivity and passion to fill a room with infectious spirit and zest for life!

We encourage everyone involved with Inclusion Foundation to embrace and embody our values:

  • Be proud: Whether it is engendering pride in those with Down syndrome or taking pride in striving towards our vision, being proud is critical to all that we are, all that we do, and all that we want to overcome.
  • Act with kindness: Without exception or excuse, kindness is a non-negotiable within the Inclusion Foundation, while a kinder society to those with Down syndrome is a key objective we seek to achieve.
  • Show courage: From dealing with day-today obstacles, to striving to achieve our important goals, our journey is one that needs a lot of courage. The courage to be yourself. The courage to highlight what’s wrong and stand up for what’s right. And the courage to keep going. Always.
  • Open heart and mind: We are a head and heart organisation. Open your heart to others, show empathy and compassion, embrace difference and diversity. But equally, open your mind to new ideas and new ways to do things. Be open to change. Be open to inclusion.
  • See the person, alwaysInside everybody, behind every face, underneath all levels of human ability is a person with a unique story. Understanding and being empathetic to an individual’s story, their abilities, their perspective, and their family, is core to all that we do.

Logo and Identity

Trisomy or Down syndrome occurs when there are three separate copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. With this in mind, the logos and identity have been developed with the theme of three to cohesively unify the brand through colour.

The Inclusion Foundation Brand Family

Inclusion Foundation – Leading the way towards an inclusive future.

Whether you’re a child with Down syndrome, a young person with Down syndrome seeking employment or a parent or carer of someone with Down syndrome, the Inclusion Foundation is here to inspire, empower, campaign and support. In short, the Inclusion Foundation exists to promote inclusion for people with Down syndrome and make sure the broader community understand and value the experiences of people with Down syndrome and their families.

Emotion21 – Moving towards an inclusive future.

Supported and promoted by the Inclusion Foundation, emotion21 provides innovative dance and fitness programmes for children and young adults with Down syndrome. Through performance-based activities and community engagement, emotion21 aims to enhance lives for people with Down syndrome. The benefits of the emotion21 programme are wide-ranging and include health, exercise, social and self-esteem outcomes for participants. These benefits in turn positively impact our student’s families and the community at large.

Impact21 – Working towards an inclusive future.

Supported and promoted by the Inclusion Foundation, the impact21 employment programme is a one-of-a kind work readiness and personal growth programme for early school leavers and adults with Down syndrome. Through impact21, students will gain a customised role in a national company earning award wage. They will have opportunities to increase social and civic inclusion, greater independence, and grow in their work skills and careers.

As we move towards a more inclusive world, we ask you to join us with a courageous heart and count yourself in. We look forward to developing and expanding our reach and encourage you to feel proud of your participation in the journey, knowing every step we take, makes a difference in the lives of those living with Down syndrome, their families, and our community. As we move into this new phase with a refreshed and stronger brand there is really only one thing left to say! “Count me in!”.

#CountMeIn is the call from Corporate Australia as employers partner with Inclusion Foundation


Matthew Foo working in the cafe at DuluxGroup

Inclusion Foundation is excited to announce our 2021 corporate partners for the innovative program Impact21. This unique employer-driven program leads to meaningful and matched employment for Victorian employers and young adults living with Down syndrome and intellectual disability. The program has been co-designed with large-scale employer partners and was launched in 2019. Since then, the program has continued to support not only the worker but also the employer to achieve their diversity and inclusion objectives.

The Impact21 employer partners are SodexoJB H-FiTorrens University AustraliaACMIMelbourne Sports CentresTennis Australia and CVGT. These partnerships are a welcome addition to an already thriving program supporting a diverse workforce that leads to sustainable employment for Impact21 participants.

“ACMI is proud to join the program,” said ACMI Director & CEO Katrina Sedgwick OAM. “Our ACMI 2019-2022 Disability Action Plan was formulated to capture the spirit of our organisational values which include a commitment to inclusion and diversity. Impact21 is a wonderful opportunity to continue putting this commitment to diversity into action”.

The first of the two-year program provides personal and professional skill development in an environment where same aged peers are also studying. Torrens University facilitated this by hosting the program pilot. In 2021, an equitable learning experience in CBD campuses has been realised by the Centre for Adult Education and Torrens University. Program participants engage with employer partners throughout and move into matched employment with on-the-job learning and support.

Earlier this year, Impact21 graduate Matthew Foo (pictured) recommenced work at the DuluxGroup office in Clayton, working closely with the People Services team. Matthew has also recently joined the Ducaf team on a weekly basis working in the café. “Ducaf is the nice place to get a coffee and catch up with friends,” says Matthew who is really enjoying the new opportunity and experience working in the café.

“The Impact21 program facilitates the Tennis Australia inclusion and diversity strategy being implemented in daily practice,” said Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia CEO. “Customised employment allows us to really look at what we need as an organisation, work with the program participants, and understand their skills and interests, to then align for meaningful employment.”

A mere 7 per cent of Australians think people with disabilities are supported “very well”, according to the Australia Talks National Survey 2021. Inclusion Foundation aims to increase this percentage through the Impact21 program with targeted support to participants as well as their employers. Further, according to the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 48 (2018) 417–431 “the most important factor indicating best practice in employment of people with disability was strong connections with and understanding of disability support networks.”

Inclusion Foundation works to bridge this gap with a long-term goal of creating a world where people with an intellectual disability are equal, active, respected members of society. With less than 5% of working-aged individuals with Down syndrome in open employment, programs such as Impact21 are a shining light for inclusion in the workforce.

Inclusion Foundation is proud to be leading the way to an inclusive future with the innovative program Impact21 and forward-thinking partners.

Bake-a-long

It’s hard to believe but we are in October already and that means one thing for us – Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

October was first designated as Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the 1980s and has been recognised every year since.

The month is another opportunity to engage the wider community with a simple message – regardless of background, ethnicity, gender or ability, society often overlooks or ignores the obvious fact that behind every human face, is a person. A person who, despite seeing or experiencing the world differently to the rest of us, possess the same feelings, hopes and desires that we all do.

We have a number of exciting activities planned providing fun and active opportunities for all to get involved.

The first of which is a “Bake-a-long”

Inclusion Foundation’s very own Ash Hudson (impact21 Learning Support) is also a professional chef! He has cooked us up our very own Inclusion Foundation cupcake. Everyone can say ‘count me in!’ with this is a recipe that tastes fantastic while being gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free (You could almost say healthy!!).

Decorate them as you please and have fun, share your results with the community, post to your socials using the hashtags #21yourway #CountMeInCupcake. 

Click here to download the recipe.

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