DSAIA Quarterly Newsletter July 2010

Tue, July 06, 2010 11:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Texas Groups Form Regional Partnership


Down syndrome associations from all across the state of Texas will meet in San Antonio in August for an inaugural meeting of a regional alliance, aimed at fostering a better environment of sharing information and resources between the groups.  The groups held a meeting at the 2010 DSAIA Conference and began making plans for a regional meeting and a long-term collaboration.  This year's meeting will be held at Morgan's Wonderland and will feature its founder, Gordon Hartman, as a guest speaker. 

"We met at AIA and wanted to find a way to collaborate throughout the year," explained Terri Mauldin, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of San Antonio.  "We hope to use the DSAIA Conference as a starting point of discussion each year to target issues affecting our members at the state level."  Groups will send representatives to discuss a number of topics including the creation of a Governmental Action Committee, updates on Texas legislation affecting the Down syndrome community, education workshops and conferences, secondary education issues relating to Texas and building a "community-representative" board.  


2011 Conference Opportunities

The 2011 AIA Conference Planning Program Committee is soliciting presentation proposals from Down syndrome parent groups who are doing amazing things. This is your chance to educate others on your group's proven programs and best practices in non-profit management. Breakout sessions will be 60 minutes in length and will cover a variety of pertinent topics to help group leaders bring new ideas and vitality to their organizations.  Deadline for submissions is August 15, 2010. You'll find the submission form online here.

Sponsorship of the conference, exhibiting or advertising in the program provides a premiere opportunity for you to showcase your programs, services or products to an estimated 100 Down syndrome organizations in attendance at the annual conference - representing over 100,000 people with down syndrome.  Interested in sponsorship opportunities, exhibitor spaces, or organization scholarships?  You'll find
online applications at our site for your convenience. 


Camp Offers Lifetime Passes

The Joy of Downs, in the spirit of collaboration and sharing, is offering a limited number of Lifetime Passes to attend Camp Many Stars to members of Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action Trade Association. The Lifetime Pass is purchased and owned by a local support group and allows one family a year to participate in Camp Many Stars' week-long family adventure camp at no cost.
The purpose of the Lifetime Pass is to enable families to attend who might not otherwise have a chance to participate in the family fun, adventure, and learning that this first and only camp provides. The Lifetime Pass has a one-time cost of $5,000 and is good for thirty years. Because the average family week is approximately $1,500, the accumulated value of the pass exceeds $45,000. Only a limited number of passes will be issued. For more information on the passes, contact The Joy of Downs at  You can visit the camp's website for an overview at


DSAIA Directors To Serve on NDSS Committee

DSAIA board members Doris Erhart (DSA of Central Oklahoma), Mark Leach (DS Louisville), and Amy Allison (DSG of Greater Kansas City) were recently asked to serve on the NDSS National Governmental Affairs Committee (NGAC). The NGAC is a national body of advocates that advises the NDSS National Policy Center on federal legislation and policy activities.  The NDSS National Policy Center works to protect the rights and improve the quality of life for people with Down syndrome and their families. 

A major responsibility of the NGAC is assisting with updating the Policy Center's legislative agenda.  The group will meet quarterly by conference call.  The DSAIA directors were invited to join the NGAC because of their exemplary advocacy for the Down syndrome community through assistance with a variety of legislative and policy matters. 


President's Message

In this issue, I'd like to focus on accountability to our members. We remain true to our mission.
"To support and advance the growth and service capabilities of the local and regional Down syndrome organizations we serve, to be the conduit of value driven training programs, best practices and support for our members"
DSAIA Trade Association was built on the foundation of a very successful leadership conference.  Our conference will be continue to be the cornerstone of DSAIA, but is far from all we do.
In just over 100 days, YOUR trade association has:

Developed NINE VIP Discount buying programs
Produced five webinars and committed to two more each month
Accelerated dialogue with DSRTF, NDSS and NDSC to outline our goals and identify projects of collaboration
Opened our member repository with more content added weekly
Put in place an Executive Director to work directly with our members and carry out our mission

Currently DSAIA has 58 members.  Fifty-eight Down syndrome organizations with Boards who believe the DSAIA trade association adds value and pays dividends that far exceed the cost of membership. In 100 short days----we have and will continue to do what we've promised, driven by our mission.
I encourage you to use the products and services your organization pays for us to deliver. Visit your repository; use the VIP discount programs to save money on products and services; encourage your leadership to attend our webinars; utilize our Executive Director. Your organization has already made the investment.   Now, enjoy the dividends!
If your organization is a member, I encourage you to explore and use ALL your member benefits. If your organization is considering membership, I hope you'll find out more about about DSAIA and what it accomplishes the other 362 days each year by attending a webinar next week (see below). 
In your service,
Joe Meares
DSAIA Membership Webinar Registration Links
Tue, Jul 13, 2010 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT

I want to tell you what WONDERFUL time I had at the conference. I learned so much and came away with lots of ideas for our organization. -Barb Waddle, The Upside of Downs of Northeast Ohio


Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action started as a conference bringing together outstanding leadership from Down syndrome organizations around the country. Learn More

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