Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Same but Different

By Guest Blogger Ashley Heath 

Hello! My name is Ashley and I am so lucky to have a twin sister with Down syndrome, Ariel. Growing up, I never really saw a difference between us. We celebrated our birthdays on the same day, dressed alike, and liked most of all the same things. From the time we started talking, we would proudly tell anyone and everyone that we were twins. Everyone believed us when we were little, but as we got older less and less people were convinced. Soon, when I started playing sports, like softball, she became my biggest fan. During high school, you could see us going to football games on Friday nights and softball games on Saturday's. Her and I went to prom together and enjoyed every minute of my senior year together. I didn’t notice the exclusion until I graduated high school and Ariel was beginning her own senior year. When we were in school together, I was her advocate. I was the one taking her to the games, pep rallies, and meetings. When I moved to college, there wasn't anyone trying to include her like I did. She began to become less and less interested about school and didn't want to go at all. She slowly began to be more involved in sports and special activities. She plays softball and bowls competitively for Special Olympics. She has many metals to show off and is proud of her accomplishments, as am I. There is nothing special about her needs. She is a loving, fun, energetic (add own adjectives) person to be around. She deserves to be included and treated the same as everyone else. I am proud to be her sister. 

Ashley was a student in Dr. Cristina Santamaria Graff’s Family as Faculty class in the Fall of 2018 at IUPUI. If you are interested in finding out more about the Family as Faculty project, please check out the Facebook page: .

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

21 Ideas for Raising Awareness

1.  Share the DSI Medical Outreach presentation with your OB/GYN -  DSI would be glad to schedule a time to come and do a live presentation to your physician’s office staff!

2.  Purchase a copy of the new 21 DreamS book and ask your OB/GYN to place a copy in the waiting room:!   Or give your OB/GYN the copy that you received in your New Parent Packet.

3.  Write a letter to your OB/GYN about the birth of your child and the positive impact that your child has had on your life.

4.  Schedule a meeting with your school district’s Director of Special Education to hear their plans for inclusion in your school system.

5.  Schedule a time to read a book about Down syndrome to your child’s class.   

6.  Talk to your employer about hiring someone with Down syndrome in your office! 

7.   Ask your school to host an awareness presentation for students by Down Syndrome Indiana or the Joseph Maley Foundation!

8.  Ask your employer to sponsor the Buddy Walk, and Air Race & Fly-In, or the DSI DADS Golf Outing.

9.  Talk to your friends and family about the Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign -

10.  Volunteer to help DSI deliver informational postcards to medical offices across central Indiana to spread awareness to Healthcare Professionals and new parents.

11.  Develop your own awareness presentation to give to your school, church, community group, or team -

12.  Fill out a Get to Know Me book and share it with schools, doctors, care provider staff, church, anyone who interacts with your loved one with Ds - 

13.  Share the awareness facts that are shared by Down Syndrome Indiana on social media, by pressing like and share.

14.  Ask friends, neighbors, and teachers to create a Buddy Walk team or join yours -

15.  Wear it...Wear your awareness in the form of clothing or accessories. It's a great conversation starter.

16.  Write out your story and be ready to share it.

17.  Ask your local school to put a blurb about Buddy Walk in their e-newsletter.

18.  Start planning for World Down Syndrome Day 2019!   Plan to attend a DSI World Down Syndrome Day Celebration and Flash Mob, spread random acts of kindness in honor of WDSD, wear funky socks, and celebrate in your child’s classroom (maybe with blue and yellow cupcakes?!?!).

19.  Talk to your Congress people to advocate for people with Down syndrome!

20.  Develop a friendship with an adult with Down syndrome.  If you would like to meet some amazing adults with Down syndrome, consider attending a DSI Self Advocate monthly event as a volunteer! 

21.  Talk to your friends and neighbors about Disability Etiquette and People First Language - 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

DSI DADS Golf Outing, Friday, June 8, 2018 at Eagle Creek

Join DSI D.A.D.S. on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Eagle Creek Golf Club for our annual golf outing from which funds raised directly benefit the mission of DSI D.A.D.S. and help to sponsor Riley Hospital for Children's "Camp Hi-Lite", a one-week, outdoor-living experience for school-aged and adolescent children who happen to have Down syndrome. 

Online Registration is available here:
Great news, you can now pay for your team online!

Contact or 317.925.7617 to reserve your spot today!

Monday, March 12, 2018


Once again, IPL's 10-story downtown headquarters will light up with blue and yellow Down syndrome awareness colors on March 21st , 2018 for World Down Syndrome Day. We invite people to take selfie’s in front of the window display and share on social media tagging @IPLpower and @downsyndromeindiana and use hashtags #IPLlights and #DSIWDSD18. Share your photos celebrating World Down Syndrome Day and help Down Syndrome Indiana spread awareness and acceptance for Down syndrome.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We are Down Syndrome Indiana

Down Syndrome Indiana is a one-stop-shop for information and resources on Down syndrome. The programs it offers are intended to promote the inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome in their greater community, as well as, to offer support and information to families, caregivers, educators, employers and the professionals who serve individuals with Down syndrome. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Please Consider a Year-End Donation to DSI...

Do you care about people with Down syndrome? We do too! Just like you, we believe each person with Down syndrome should enjoy a happy, healthy and productive daily life. Can we count on you to help us this season?

With your continued support, in the next 1,000 days, Down Syndrome Indiana plans to accomplish the following on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome:
Expand The Learning Program™, that so many of our families have been very excited about, so that we can offer additional levels in Indy and launch this valuable program in Lafayette as well; 
Reach an additional 500 parents;
Bring the iCan Bike program to our Terre Haute families…

We still need to raise $14,000 to make our year end goal for 2017. Please make a donation today to help us reach this goal.  Click here to donate.

We have a big vision for people with Down syndrome… Down Syndrome Indiana wants everyone touched by Down syndrome to help us create a better future and a stronger community around people with Down syndrome. We are going to need the support of parents, individuals with Down syndrome themselves, grandparents, medical professionals, service providers, educators and volunteers to make it happen. Are you willing to lend your support? 

Because of you and people just like you, Down Syndrome Indiana has passed many milestones so far in 2017:

·         Served 1,753 parents and 837 individuals with Down syndrome;
·         Distributed 181 New Parent Packets;
·         We gave $13,000 in scholarships and financial aid;
·         7,000 people attended DSI events
·         3,368 hours were donated by 96 volunteers;
·         1,568 have been served through awareness presentations (over 200 more than last year!);
·         10,000 people visited our website for information and resources;
·         In 2017 so far, we have impacted over 17,000 people.

In addition, we launched The Learning Program™, Buddy Walk® Terre Haute and an Education Advisory Committee. We created a Ds timeline and a new strategic plan that will take us through 2021. BUT we want to do so much more… Please make a yea- end donation so we can continue to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Thank you!

It is my pleasure to serve you,

Lisa Wells
Lisa Wells, Executive Director

P.S. We want to see adults being employed in larger numbers in the community...Our theme for 2018 is going to be employment. We will make it easy for employers to understand why and how to employ individuals with Down syndrome in the community. Your support is important!