Saturday, May 29, 2010

DSI Gets Marketing Opportunity of a Lifetime

[Indianapolis, Indiana] Local nonprofit organization, Down Syndrome Indiana gets the marketing opportunity of a lifetime when Graham Rahal of Rahal Letterman Racing agreed to place its logo on his car during the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday!

Inspired by Catalina Joyce, a child with Down syndrome and the Joyce Family of Indianapolis, when Graham Rahal was asked to place the logo on his car, he agreed and according to Johanna Maher, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing with Rahal Letterman Racing, “ Graham Rahal likes to have an organization to stand behind and hadn’t found one yet, so when Jeff Joyce asked, we agreed”

Not only did Rahal Letterman agree to put the logo on the car, the Bobby Rahal Foundation agreed to make a donation to the organization for every lap completed by Graham and to double the donation if he finishes in the top three! In addition, Graham Rahal agreed to make a personal donation as well.

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.”

Down Syndrome Indiana Executive Director, Lisa Tokarz-Gutierrez had this to say, “ Down Syndrome Indiana is thrilled to partner with Graham Rahal and the Rahal Letterman Racing Team to promote awareness and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome at this year’s Indy 500! We wish Graham the best of luck. It is a huge victory for individuals with Down syndrome to have our logo displayed on Graham’s car. It will go unbelievably far in enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome, not only in Indiana but across the United States as well. This is truly a dream come true for our families to have their children embraced by the racing community. We are incredibly fortunate for this amazing opportunity and completely impressed over and over with the generosity of Graham Rahal. “

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.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Self Advocates and College

Do you dream about your son or daughter going to college when they graduate high school? You should! And DSI is here to introduce you to a few DSI Self Advocates who have attended college and want to tell you about their experiences.

Join the Down Syndrome Indiana Self Advocates as they discuss their college experiences on June 1st 2010 from 6pm to 8pm in the Marott Community Room at 2625 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Come hear about the programs they have attended, how they feel it has helped them in life and learn a little bit about the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition and what you can expect from the group in the future. Featured panelists currently include: Jessica Green, Joel Persinger, Kelley Schreiner, and Sarah Strouse with group moderation by Cindy Cobb.

No matter what age your child is now, this is a great meeting to attend so you can start setting your expectations high!

Please RSVP to or call 925-7617 so we can order the right amount of food!

Please pass this info on….. If you know any Self Advocates who have attended a college program but that are not currently on the panel and would like to participate, please contact Lisa Tokarz-Gutierrez, Executive Director at or call 317-925-7617 for more info.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Speak your mind

Rate your community’s implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act!

People with disabilities, their family members, and their advocates are invited to complete the 2010 ADA POLL, a survey about how Indiana communities are doing with implementation of the ADA. It’s important that your voices are heard when accessibility and discrimination issues are being addressed in your community! So don’t delay – let us know what you have to say!

The 2010 ADA POLL is available online at:
It is also available in alternative formats – see below

The ADA has been in effect since 1990 - nearly 20 years have passed for communities to remove physical, programmatic, and attitudinal barriers that prevent people with disabilities from becoming active participating citizens. Progress has been made, but there is still need for further compliance. The 2010 ADA POLL asks Indiana citizens to identify how they view current implementation of the ADA in their own communities. Here is your opportunity to provide opinions and ideas about where to improve accessibility!

The results of the 2010 ADA POLL will be used to "grade" your community +on its response to the ADA and will become a tool to educate policy makers, administrators, and the general public about the ADA. We hope that you will join us in this effort to learn more about community responses to the ADA.

To request the survey form in an alternative format, or for additional information, contact Dr. Vicki Pappas by phone: 1-800-825-4733 or e-mail:

The 2010 ADA POLL is being conducted by the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, in conjunction with the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services, and the Great Lakes ADA Center.