Down syndrome PSA illustrates all the ‘ridiculous excuses not to be inclusive’

CoorDown’s 2023 campaign for World Down Syndrome Day uses a comedic tone to take aim at common painful interactions

Published On
Mar 15, 2023
A man with Down syndrome pointing to cartoony onscreen text that reads "Ridiculous Excuses Not to Be Inclusive"

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This year for World Down Syndrome Day, Italian Down syndrome charity CoorDown plays on the comedic style of American sitcoms with its film, “Ridiculous Excuses Not to Be Inclusive.”

The film illustrates, in five scenes, episodes of everyday ableism, from being excluded from class trips, in the workplace, at school, playing sports, and at summer camps. Some of the excuses heard in the skits include: “It’s not your fault, we’re the ones who are not prepared to take you on the field trip!” and “We don't have enough chairs to invite you to the meeting.”


"With this global campaign we touch on an issue that concerns each of us: naming and making visible a phenomenon that people with Down syndrome and their parents, brothers, sisters and caregivers experience on a daily basis. They may seem like small events, but in reality, they are real discriminations often done with a smile of circumstance or unawareness that nevertheless mark the lives and hearts of those who suffer them,” said Antonella Falugiani, president of CoorDown ODV. “The time has come to break down this wall as well and expose the false ‘good intentions’ of those who out of laziness or lack of understanding still exclude people with intellectual disabilities. 

The spot is characterized by a catchy jingle, composed and produced by Stabbiolo Music, that underlines and mocks the ridiculous excuses people say.

In the coming days, until March 21, CoorDown's TikTok channel will feature real testimonials from people who have Down syndrome and their families from all over the world and the ridiculous excuses they have had to hear. TikTok users can add their stories inspired by the campaign’s jingle and a specially created sticker, as well as the official hashtag #RidiculousExcuses. The “Ridiculous Excuses” film will be available exclusively on CoorDown's TikTok channel and spread across all the organization's platforms. 


The work was made by creative agency Small New York and produced by Indiana Production and Tinygiant. Last March, CoorDown released a film, “Just the Two of Us,” focusing on the lack of privacy in romantic relationships.

This year's international campaign was again produced with contributions from several international associations, including Down's Syndrome Association (UK), Down Syndrome Australia, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, New Zealand Down Syndrome Association, Best Buddies International, National Down Syndrome Society, Karachi Down Syndrome Program and under the patronage of Down Syndrome International.

"We have often experienced how the creators of our community, through their originality manage to overcome language, cultural and social barriers, creating awareness and stances on issues that are taboo, niche, or not particularly ‘cool,” said Giacomo Lev Mannheimer, head of government relations and public policy Southern Europe at TikTok, in a statement. “Their success demonstrates how authenticity can be an incredible vehicle for awareness campaigns: a global megaphone as well as a catalyst for engaging and making millions of people think about socially indispensable issues.”


Mar 15, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Executive Creative Director :
Luca Pannese
Executive Creative Director :
Luca Lorenzini
Creative Director :
Fabio Tridenti
Production Company :
Indiana Production
Partner/MD/Executive Producer :
Karim Bartoletti
Senior Producer :
Lilli Auteri
Director :
Stoney Sharp
DP :
Joe Gabriel
Co-Production Company :
Founder/Executive Producer :
Veronica Diaferia
Partner/Executive Producer :
Sara Eolin
Line Producer :
Neil Champagne
1st AD :
Mark Kaufmann
2nd AD :
Cody Maher
Editor :
Luca Angeleri
Supporting Editor :
Simone Moraca
Senior Post Producer :
Alga Pastorelli
Colorist :
Claudio Beltrami
Motion Design & Compositing :
Post Production Audio :
Compositing :
Alessandro Canu
Original Music :
Stabbiolo Music
Original Music :
Alessandro Cristofori
Original Music :
Diego Perugini
Original Music :
Guido Pietrella
Vocals :
James Wertts
Vocals :
Lara Karuna
Vocals :
Eugene van Hemert
Vocals :
Nadia Guelfi
Vocals :
Daria Tanasenko
Vocals :
Andrea Castellana

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