Friday, June 11, 2010

National Alliance for Full Participation

The National Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) is interested in how Indiana is doing on the path to the ambitious goal of 50% employment of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in five years. They have created a “scorecard” of possible benchmarks for state Alliances. This scorecard was created to help Indiana review the state policies, practices, and strategies that impact on opportunities for integrated employment. The answers on this scorecard will help Indiana identify priorities and set goals for employment initiatives and outline a strategy for doubling our state’s rate of integrated employment by the year 2015.

Please take a moment to complete this survey by visiting

For more information on the National Alliance for Full Participation For information on the work of the Indiana Alliance, visit their webpage at To access the Indiana Alliance Facebook page visit

Thursday, June 3, 2010

DSI a Big Winner in Indy 500

Indianapolis not-for-profit a big winner in Graham Rahal's 12th place 500 finish!

Graham Rahal's 12th place finish in this year's Indy 500 gives a big boost to Down Syndrome Indiana! Graham, who likes to help organizations through his professional racing, chose Down Syndrome Indiana as his charitable organization of choice for this year's Indy 500 race. Not only did Down Syndrome Indiana benefit from the publicity it garnered by having their logo plastered on the front of Graham's #30 Quick Trim Special, which started on the inside of Row 3, but the Bobby Rahal Foundation (a charitable foundation started by Graham's father and 1986 500 champion, Bobby Rahal) also made a $2,500 contribution to DSI. In addition, Graham Rahal personally matched the contribution for a total of $5,000 given to enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome by the Rahal Letterman Racing Team.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the partnership!" said DSI Executive Director Lisa Tokarz-Gutierrez. "One of the great things about being in my position as a professional race car driver is that I can use my position to help organizations like Down Syndrome Indiana" said Graham Rahal. "We are genuinely pleased that we could help DSI …" Said Johanna Maher, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Rahal Letterman Racing.Graham's decision to support DSI was clinched when he met 11 month old Catalina Joyce as she and her father, Jeff Joyce, visited Netheads. "He was such a nice, down-to-earth guy", said Jeff, "And he was genuinely interested in helping our organization to create awareness about acceptance and inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome.

In the words of Jeff Joyce, father of Catalina Joyce with Down syndrome, “This goes to show what a stand-up guy Graham is for following up on this for us. You can’t imagine how much this can help our organization, Down Syndrome Indiana, and my Daughter Catalina. ….Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Racing are first class operations.”

About Down syndrome
Down syndrome occurs in approximately one out of every 733 live births and there are approximately 350,000 individuals with Down syndrome living within the United States. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal abnormality and is caused by a triplication of the 21st chromosome. It is indiscriminate of race, religion or economic status. Therefore Down syndrome affects all walks of life. People with Down syndrome possess a wide degree of abilities and are active participants in civic, educational, occupational, social and recreational activities in the community.

About Down Syndrome Indiana
Down Syndrome Indiana is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. Our mission is to serve as a conduit of information, support and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome and their families, which promotes growth and inclusion in the community.

For more information about Down Syndrome Indiana, or this particular story, please contact Lisa Tokarz-Gutierrez at or by calling 317-925-7617.