Friday, March 25, 2011

The Runway of Life

Katie may have Down syndrome but it doesn’t define who she is…..

On Saturday, March 19, 2011 Katie Shaw gave a wonderful speech at the Down Syndrome Indiana Fashion Show presented by Midwest Fashion Week. Click here to listen to what she has to say about the runway of life:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Meet the Children's Show Models....

The Children’s Fashion Show is only 5 days away! Join Down Syndrome Indiana and Midwest Fashion Week as we celebrate the joy of being a child through a colorful presentation of contemporary children’s fashion. This fun-filled event for families and friends includes an
elegant Sunday brunch, inclusive fashion show, opportunity to create positive public awareness about Down syndrome and closing entertainment by Colts Mascot, Blue! Tickets are $25.00 per adult and $15.00 per child and are still available at: Now, let’s meet our models! ..

Name: Karinne Lee
Fun Facts about Karinne: Karinne Lee is 8 years old and is in 2nd grade at St. Matthew Catholic School. She loves to sing, dance, perform for others, and everything pink. She has performed in several dance recitals doing ballet, and currently is in stomp. Karinne also does cheerleading with Special Olympics and Girl Scouts. She has 2 sisters, Micah and Reagan.

Name: Michaela Deputy
Fun Facts about Michaela: Michaela lives in Indianapolis with her dad, mom, brother, two dogs, and a cat. She is 13 years old and is in the 7th grade at Christel House Academy, where she is stu-dent manager for the volleyball team. Michaela is a fighter, having survived open heart surgery at 10 months old and leukemia at 7 years old. She loves Barbies, American Girl dolls, princesses, playing Wii, swimming, and sledding. She attends The Creek and helps in the Scrapyard Sunday school class and is also active in the middle school life group. She is a busy volunteer with the Leu-kemia and Lymphoma Society and Riley Children’s Foundation. Michaela is anxiously awaiting a November mission trip to Nicaragua with her mom to serve in a special-needs school for a week.

Name: Mackenzie Wilt
Fun Facts about Mackenzie: Mackenzie Wilt is excited to be a part of the fashion show this year. She is ten years old and attends Mohawk Trails Ele-mentary School. She is in 4th grade and loves going to school. Mackenzie enjoys cheerleading and swimming and loves to play with her friends and siblings. Currently she is practicing for her 4th grade musical in which she will be singing a solo and acting as an IU cheerleader. At home she loves arts and crafts, Barbies, Polly Pockets, movies and playing video games. She is a huge help around the house and always has a clean room!

Name: Sydney Pequignot
Fun Facts about Sydney: Sydney lives in NE Indiana with her Mom Denise, Dad Chad, big brother Seth and dog, Maggie. She attends Little Turtle Elementary and is in the 2nd grade. She loves to read & swim. Her activities include Cheer, Lap club (a swim team for special needs) and attends Camp Red Cedar during the summer where she rides horses.

Name: Aurora Lynn Ellis
Fun Facts about Aurora: Aurora is a kindergartner at Mill Creek West Ele-mentary in Amo, Indiana. She enjoys playing with her two brothers, Wyatt 9 and Sawyer 3. She also spends time visit-ing with her friends. Aurora loves cheer-leading, and is a member of the Elite Cheer and Dance Special Needs Team. She performs at lo-cal competitions. Another one of Aurora's favorite pastimes is dancing! She is a great shopper and loves to get new clothes! She has partici-pated in the DSI Buddy Walk since she has been six weeks old.

Name: Mia Francesca Accinelli
Fun facts about Mia: She is a daddy's girl. She loves to watch to Spongebob and Word World. Her favorite phrases are, "No way!" and "Duh!" She figured out her mom's iPod Touch before her mom did and frequently says it's hers. We call her "Itty bitty" because she's so tiny. She loves going to school. She is a wonder-ful helper. She helps anyone, anywhere.

Name: Madison Collins
Fun Facts about Madison: Madison is in 6th grade at Childs Elemen-tary in Bloomington, IN and lives with her mom and dad and her older sister in high school. She has 2 older brothers living out of state . She enjoys the computer and playing many sports e,g, basketball, soccer, swimming, dance, bowling, riding her bike. She is very creative and enjoys designing, coloring and cutting decorations her room . Madi-son is very social, likes being around other people and has a good sense of humor . Her favorite color is purple. She thoroughly enjoys singing and dancing to Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers .

Name: Name: Taylor Collins
Fun Facts about Taylor : Taylor is a 7 year old Fabulous First-grader. Everyday is a holiday for this Little Princess. She enjoys dancing, sing-ing and the spotlight! Taylor brings joy and love into our lives daily as there is never a dull moment when the Diva is on deck!

Name: Hallie Creason
Fun Facts about Hallie: Hallie is 7 years old and in the first grade. She enjoys swimming, gymnastics, and attending church activities. Hallie loves books, playing with friends, and watching Han-nah Montana. She also enjoys visits with her grandmas and grandpas and loves her big brother Kyle.

Name: Joshua Graham
No bio available at this time.

Marissa Schneck:
No photo/bio available at this time.

Name: Evan Marcus Sondgerath
Fun Facts about Evan : Evan is currently ten years old. He has three sisters, Erin, Emily and Nicole (deceased 7/16/99). Evan enjoys participating on the Conductors Cheerleading Team at Cheer Ex-press. He is currently taking swimming lessons twice a week. Evan participated in Boy Scouts for two years and enjoyed playing soccer on a recrea-tional team for three seasons. He enjoys music, dancing and playing dress-up. Evan is loving and caring but also very comical.

Name: Ben Scofield

Name: Katie Rogers
No photo/bio available at this time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Action Alert

Please take action now!

The National Down Syndrome Society has issued an action alert regarding funding for postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities at this link:

This issue is near and dear to the mission of Down Syndrome Indiana! As many of you know, DSI has been a part of the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition and the progress made to date is nothing short of amazing thanks to a grant from the US Department of Education but a funding cut in this area could slow progress dramatically! “This week the funding for that grant and all the other grants and initiatives face potential elimination from the federal budget. The Republican plan, the continuing resolution and the President’s Budget currently threaten to zero out these items. Our children have 3 times as much success gaining meaningful employment after completing one of these programs versus not attending. We have made too much progress to let this slip away….” Says Jeff Huffman, Chair of the Public Policy Committee in the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition and parent of Nash, who happens to have Down syndrome.
Please contact your congressional representative and ask them to support funding to continue the Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities into Higher Education (TPSID) and the TPSID National Coordinating Center by the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education. These demonstration projects are developing models of effective ways to ensure that students with intellectual disabilities have access to postsecondary education and increased employment outcomes. These programs should be protected and supported in the FY 2011 and FY 2012 funding bills.If calling by phone, use the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your Members.

It’s okay if you don’t know who your member of congress is or can’t find their contact info: Just go here:
On the right side type in your zip code and look them up.

Again, for more information, please visit this link:

Dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome,

Lisa Tokarz-Gutierrez, Executive Director