The Down Syndrome Association of Delaware (DSA of DE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to be a resource promoting public awareness, education and advocacy supporting individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
The DSA of DE acts as a resource, advocating for the acceptance and understanding that allows individuals with Down syndrome to achieve the same level of access and opportunity as their peers. They provide resources, education and support activities for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages, and their families. The DSA of DE staff, board and community are engaged in advocacy, education and awareness activities statewide.
The DSA of DE does not have an office, however, they use a variety of spaces throughout the state. Some of the space is donated through community partners, like the Milford Moose Lodge. Their partnerships with clinics are with the Down Syndrome Clinic at AI duPont Hospital for Children and the Christiana Care Teen/Adult Down Syndrome Clinic at Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital. Parents can also obtain assistance with IEP process and medical services transition through the organization. . Finally, families are also referred to community workshops/conferences (i.e. job training workshops, Transition and LIFE conferences, etc.) and schools for more resources.
The DSA of DE has a 12 member Board which includes 2 self-advocates. The Executive Director has her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Disability Studies. She has also attended Wrightslaw Training (special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities). She serves on the National Board for Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action. Other members of the team, at the Down Syndrome Clinic at AI DuPont, include a Spanish-speaking outreach coordinator (a contracted parent) who works five hours a week, three mothers of children with Down syndrome (paid hourly) and 2 self-advocates (adults with Down syndrome, paid hourly).
Others partners include:
– Knockout Boxing of Newark (weekly class)
– Gymboree (weekly class)
– Little Gym (weekly class)
– Middletown Village Gym (weekly class)
– Boardwalk Buddy Walk
The DSA of DE also offers the following activities:
– Monthly Parent Pow-Wows
– Quarterly Teen/Adult Dances
– Rock Your Socks/World Down Syndrome Day
– Annual Dinner
All programs are offered free of charge or at a discounted rate. In addition, scholarships and financial assistance is available to families to cover the cost of programming, membership fees, conference fees, etc. The scholarships are at the discretion of the Scholarship Committee and/or the Board of Directors.
For more information and to contact the DSA of DE, please visit their website at https://www.dsadelaware.org/.