We are proud to have worked with 10/11 Now to create this Public Service Announcement. We would like to thank Sara F,, Paul S,. and Jamie A. for rocking their speaking parts and all the families who submitted photos to be included in the PSA. We think 10/11 did a great job of creating and editing the 30 second spot that will air all month on their station. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in spreading awareness across the state of Nebraska this October! Click here to see the PSA.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Each day during October we will be posting one of the posters from our awareness poster campaign. Posters are being displayed across Nebraska.
Meet Paul who is a young adult with a very active social life. He can often be found playing basketball,and tennis, and he walks regularly for exercise. Paul enjoys painting, playing the baritone and bowling. He works at a local grocery store and often has a smile on his face. Paul is a good friend to many and has many good friends of his own.
Individuals can sponsor a poster for as little as $10. Click here to sponsor a poster.
Just six days ago we closed our online survey where we asked families in the local Down Syndrome Community what supports and resources were important to them. Over 70 people responded to the survey. While we haven't had a chance to completely analyze all the data to report back to you, there was one thing that stood out above the rest. Over half the families only attend 1-2 events a year because they are busy, and the events are not conveniently located for them.
You spoke. We listened. We took action. We would like to announce the creation of a new webinar series to help families who have a loved one with Down syndrome in the state of Nebraska. The very first Family Connection Webinar will be held on Friday, June 23 at 8PM. Our topic will be Celiac Disease and gluten free eating. You will be able to join the webinar from your computer, smartphone or tablet. We would like to ask everyone to bring one or two of their favorite gluten-free recipes to share with the group. Our webinar will be 30 minutes long. If after the 30 minutes are up, there are participants who want to continue the discussion, we will take a 10 to 15 minute break and have a final 40 minute session starting at approximately 8:45.
We plan to continue hosting monthly webinars, and may work up to doing them more often if families have hot topics to discuss. We are already working on additional topics like potty training, sign language, IEP's and more.
We have created a closed Facebook group to help us manage the discussions and where we can privately share information and links and reocording of our webinars. Click here to join our private group and get the invitation link to the first webinar.
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our Mall Walk for Down syndrome and the Nebraska Down syndrome community. It was great to see so many people walking in Down Syndrome Advocate T-shirts spreading awareness around the mall! The walk helped to raise over $4,000 for Down Sydnrome Advocates in Action Nebraska. This money will help us build our new group and expand our current offerings. We can do more to help families by attending IEP's, housing a resource library, hosting fun events like the walk and ball night, and doing peer presentation. We apprecatie everyone in the commuity who volunteered and walked for this great cause! Thank you!
We would like to invite you to attend the Mall Walk for Down Syndrome on March 11, 2017 at Gateway Mall.. Come any time between 9 am and noon and walk at your own pace following any route you would like. Walk wearing a Down Syndrome Advocate t-shirt or Button and earn raffle tickets for each mall lap completed (up to 3 per serson). Help us celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, spread awareness and support all individuals with Down syndrome in our community! Click here to register. #dsaamallwalk
Happy New Year and Happy 1st Anniversary to Down Syndrome Advocates in Action (DSAA NE)! It is hard to believe that it has just been one year since we made our first official public post.
As 2016 draws to a close, we want to thank you for allowing us be a part of your lives. We are happy to be here for you to offer resources, support and guidance. It is our sincere wish that DSAA will continue to be where you turn when you need to.
As the newest support group for Nebraskan's who have a loved one with Down syndrome we had an awesome first year. Here are some of the highlights.
Created a new website
Lobbied and testified to help pass the Down Syndrome Information and Support Act
Held an awareness walk
Provided support for families
Hosted events like ball night, parent coffees, family picnic, & teen and adult holiday party
Did peer presentations
Participated in ONE Coalition to help put on events like the Valentine Dance and Husker Heroes.
Celebrated Down Syndrome Awareness Month with a poster campaign and blog challenge
Created a resource library
And last but not least:
Elected a board, adopted bylaws, incorporated, and officially became a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Organization.
It is amazing what a small group of people can do when they are called to be advocates. We are looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Your voice is important and we value your input and look forward to hearing from you about new programing you woud like to see going forward. Other ways you can make a positive impact on the Nebraska Down Syndrome community would be to:
We appreciate any and all support that allows us to continue our existing programming and create new programs to make a positive impact in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. We have some great ideas for 2017, and can't wait to share them with you. We would love to hear your great ideas as well! Be sure to Connect with us and invite others to do the same.
Wishing you all a safe and prosperous New Year!
Deb Safarik, President
Angie Willey, Vice President & Secretary
Today we celebrated National Inclusive Schools week by going to a school and doing a peer presentation for a 3rd grade class who happens to have a classmate who has Down syndrome. The kids were great and I think they enjoyed participating in our presentation. The school is doing a great job of promonting inclusion for all learners. While we were there, we got to see a few of the teachers and administrations be recognized for the great job they are doing in they are doing with inclusion at their school. Thank you for allowing us to speak to your class and teach you a little bit about Down syndrome
Many local teens and young adults enjoyed themselves last night at the Holiday Party held at the Safarik house. The theme of the party was Grinch and there were games, karaoke, pizza, gifts and cookie decorating. The creat your own grinch contest was a lot of fun. No one complained that the cookies were gluten free, since they still tasted great with a little frosting. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did!
Study after study has proven that when a child with different learning abilites are taught in a typical classroom alongside their peers, but working on material at their level, it benefits both the student with Down syndrome and the typically developing children equally.
Does it require:
Extra work for the teacher? You bet.
Having support or an aid in the classroom? Probably.
Modification of curriculum? Most definitely.
Adaptations for the student with different learning needs? Quite possibly.'
Courageous educators who truly believe in creating an educational system that provides equal access and opportunities for all students? Absolutely!
There are many educators right here in Nebraska who truly understand that Inclusion is not just about physical proximity. Inclusion is a mindset and commitment to finding a way to help each child reach their full potential.
In honor of Inclusive Schools Week, which occurs the first full week of December every year, we would like to recognize the educators in our state who are Inclusion Chamion Heros to our students with Down syndrome. Educators who take courageous steps forward each day to promote acceptance for all. Educators will be honored with a button and certificate,
Families are asked to nominate teachers, para educators or other school personnel who are helping your child to be included in the classroom with their typically developing peers. Click here to access the nomination form. Nominations are due by December 1st.
Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Day 31! We are celebrating by posting information about Down syndrome each day in October, during the 31 for 21 Challenge. Feel free to share these posts to help spread awareness and acceptance.
We hope you have enjoyed our advocating efforts, posting information and facts about Down syndrome every day in October. One of the reasons we started this group was to encourage families to become strong advocates for their loved ones with Down syndrome. As we continue to grow as an organization we hope that families with openly share with us, the programming they would like to see as well as any areas where they need support or resources. Our goal is to become a valuable resource for the Nebraska Down syndrome community.
We would like to end our 31 days of blogging with this video originally made for World Down Syndrome Day, and updated a bit to represent Down Syndrome Awareness Month. We hope you enjoy.