Using technology for functional and education purposes with individuals with Down syndrome has become a hot topic, but one DSAIA member is doing more than talking. The Down Syndrome Association of the Valley (DSAV) just donated iPads to 21 of its members with Down syndrome. The idea came about when DSAV received a $5,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House to be used in their LAMP (Literacy Arts & Math) Program. "We saw an article on how iPads were being used to help children with special needs," explained Kelly Donadio, co-founder of DSAV, "and knew it was a great fit."
The manager of the nearest Apple store was excited to help with the project. The group created an application and invited their members to apply for one of the initial 14 iPads, with the stipulation being that they would commit to use it for academic purposes. After 18 applications came in, DSAV's leadership allocated more money to the project. The total number of iPads given out was 21. "It is just a coincidence," said Donadio, "we never planned on that number."
Members ranging in age from 3 to 21 are using their new iPads in a number of ways. While younger recipients are using learning apps, a 21-year-old recipient is making it a more integral part of his life. "He used a 3-ring binder for keeping his schedule and such, but now he is in the process of converting it all to the iPad," Kelly told us. "And he is also using it socially to connect with his siblings who are away at college."
Trio Tours to Spread the Word
On May 9, Waynesburg University students K Scarry (from Herndon, Virginia), Sarah Blais (from Attleboro, Massachusetts) and Sam Civitate (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) began a 75-day summer road trip, crisscrossing 35 states to promote the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign and advocate for full inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
During their journey, K and Sarah will offer presentations on
the need for an inclusive society to a variety of groups, including students and campers, Boy Scouts, religious organizations, government officials, and community leaders. They hope to educate their audiences about the innumerable talents and abilities people with IDD possess, and teach them to see their peers with disabilities the same way they do - as classmates, as colleagues, as friends, and most importantly, as equals.
Additional information about the campaign, including instructions on how to take the pledge, is available at www.r-word.org. For a complete itinerary of the tour, visit the STW website.
The Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City offered an amazing resource to other DS groups this past week. The group posted a video which chronicles one family's journey before, during and after heart surgery. A local photographer was granted permission to go into the surgical suite to photograph the entire procedure start to finish. Parent reactions and post surgery follow up are compiled into a photo video montage. The award-winning video is being shown in some children's hospitals. Although, some images are graphic, they are all tastefully done.
This is a stressful time for parents and the goal of the video was that some anxiety may be alleviated if they can view the process from start to finish. The group is pleased to share this link with their affiliate friends as they think many of your members could also benefit from viewing the video.
As your organization plans your fall awareness event, let DSAIA's VIP Tools assist in your efforts.
Event Registration. Looking for an easy and effective online registration program? EZ Event Solutions has been providing Online Fundraising Site services for the last four years and is proud to offer these services to DSAIA members at a 10% discount. For a complete detail of rates and services, download the flyer.
T-Shirt Discounts. DSAIA has partnered with Rule4 to offer our members incredibly low prices on quality screenprinted T-shirts. This offer is a great way to save on your event costs with prices as low as $2.60 per shirt! Find out more about colors and pricing by downloading the informational flyer (complete with price chart).
Webinars. You'll find easy-to-implement ideas to improve the effectiveness of your awareness walk in DSAIA's Walk the Walk webinar. Explore other informative webinars like the Six in Sixty Series and Creating Powerhouse Publications in the Webinar Archive.
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
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