Taking the Pulse: Reflections from Amy

Mon, November 18, 2019 12:47 PM | Anonymous member

If you missed last week's Taking the Pulse call, it was a fantastic community conversation with some terrific leaders and partners. And if I had to summarize it, I would have to say it exemplified everything there is to know about Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action: that we are all better (and better) together.

First of all, the whole reason we hosted the call was because YOU, our membership asked for it. And DSAIA is not one leader or a board of directors or a team of volunteers, it is all of us together, identifying and addressing our needs together...and then figuring out how best to meet those needs. Together.

Jim Hudson, the executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, was our latest member spotlighted. Jim shared all the value his organization had gained by being part of DSAIA (including as hosts for the annual conference.) He also talked about the importance of collaboration in and around the Down syndrome community and talked specifically about how that works in his home state of Ohio.

Kathleen Forney, retired executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota and co-chair of DSAIA 2020 Leadership Conference: Helping Create Magic, shared some big news with everyone: Zack Gottsagen, star of the award-winning film Peanut Butter Falcon, will be one of the featured keynote speakers at the event in Orlando in February.  She also talked about what members most wanted to see in terms of breakout sessions and our commitment to deliver that and more to conference attendees.

Lauren Camp, DSAIA board president, and myself as the acting interim executive director for DSAIA, shared the latest membership survey results. 

  • Overall, more than 88% of you are very satisfied with DSAIA and more than 80% indicated that we were very responsive to questions, needs, concerns that you had contacted us about.
  • The overwhelming majority also found the webinars and annual conference high quality, useful, unique and a good value for the money… but I did note that almost 25% felt the conference price was too high so we will be factoring that into our future board conversations about what we can do strategically to lower those costs to members. 
  • 94% of you identified DSAIA as a neutral entity in the national landscape and more than 70% said that that neutrality was either extremely or very important. 
  • Regarding further/future collaboration among national Down syndrome-focused organizations, we asked you to rate how important that was to you and 69% said is was either extremely or very important.

If there is anything you need or you have specific feedback on how Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action can better serve you so that you, in turn, can better serve individuals with Down syndrome and their families, please give me a call at 701-354-7255 or email me.

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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