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If/When Mar 21, 2022

See Me: World Down Syndrome Day

Show Contributors: Nicola Enoch, Stephanie Bywater, Lara Jumagdao, Paul Thies


First observed in 2006, World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated annually to raise public awareness and insight into the lives of people who have Down Syndrome. Recognizing the need for global support in this endeavor, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2011 to officially codify March 21 as World Down Syndrome Day. In this episode of If/When, we spoke about family life and Down Syndrome with Nicola Enoch, chief executive officer of Positive About Down Syndrome, a UK-based advocacy organization; Stephanie Bywater, Jacobs Divisional Director, Highways Framework Manager; and Lara Jumagdao, Jacobs Senior Architect/Fire and Life Safety Specialist.

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Nicola Enoch

Nicola Enoch's world fell apart in 2004 when a pediatrician advised that her then newborn son Tom has Down syndrome. Nicola has since gone on to become a strong advocate and in 2017 created Positive about Down syndrome (PADS) to ensure expectant and new parents of a baby with Down syndrome in the UK have access to contemporary information and ongoing support. PADS also delivers training to medical professionals to address the discrimination and stigma that all too often prevail around those with Down syndrome, and she lobbies policy makers and Parliamentarians to demand equality for those with Down syndrome.

Stephanie Bywater

Stephanie Bywater has been with Jacobs for 20 years. She is a full-time member of its Transportation operations team in the UK and is active in a number of the employee networks, holding a leadership position in the Women's Network and ACE (Access. Connect. Empower., which champions accessibility, community and opportunity for caregivers and employees with disabilities). Her passion for inclusion steered her early career in accessibility and inclusive design, accumulating in a Masters degree. From 2010 onward, she chose to pursue project management of rail and subsequent highways schemes. She is a great advocate of bringing her whole self to work and provides some great insight about raising her children, one of whom Jared (4) has Down syndrome.

Lara Jumagdao

Lara Jumagdao has been with Jacobs for almost 16 years. She is part of the Cities and Places Middle East Team, based in Qatar, and is an active member of the employee networks, holding a regional leadership position in the ACE and Women's network. Lara is an architect and is also an architectural fire and life safety specialist with broad experience in Middle East code compliance and approvals. She is a mom of three (Monique, Lorenzo and 16-year old Jasmine who has Down syndrome). Since 2015, her outreach has been focused on helping Filipino families with family members with disabilities especially during the festive season.