Thursday, August 23, 2012


Dear Down Syndrome Indiana families,


I am writing to you today on a very important matter to the Down syndrome community, the ABLE Act. This is the most important piece of legislation to be introduced in years. As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, please take a moment to contact Senator Dan Coats and encourage him to support the ABLE Act.  Below is sample text that you can use:




The Honorable Dan Coats

United States Senate

493 Russell Office Bldg.

Washington, D.C. 20510


Today’s Date



Dear Senator Dan Coats,


As a resident of Indiana that cares about individuals with a disability and their well-being, I am writing to you today to ask you to co-sponsor the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2011 (S. 1872/H.R. 3423).


The ABLE Act, when enacted into law, will give people with Down syndrome and their families the ability to save for the future just like every other American family. Currently, barriers to employment, independent living, and ultimately, economic self-sufficiency, exist because individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities must rely on services like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) proved, however, to qualify for these services individuals with Down syndrome may not have more than $2,000 in assets, and earn no more than $674 in a monthly income.


The ABLE Act will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. The ABLE Act has been endorsed by over 50 national disability, religious, and nonprofit organizations. By cosponsoring and passing the ABLE Act, you will give more individuals with a disability and their families the ability to save for their child’s future just like every other American family!




[Insert your name and contact info]



Thank you so much for taking the time to make your voice heard!


P.S. Down Syndrome Indiana will also have preprinted postcards on this topic that you can sign and send in at the Buddy Walk® on October 13th. Look for them in the info tent!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Journey to Success: Down syndrome through the Lifespan on Sept. 28

Don’t miss this opportunity right here in central Indiana so please take a moment to review the conference topics and presenters that include keynote speaker Michael Remus, Dr. Mary Ciccarelli of CYACC, John Dickerson, Executive Director of the Arc of Indiana, Cindy Cobb, and Joe Meares, D.A.D.S. National just name a few!

Event: Journey to Success: Down Syndrome Through the Lifespan will occur on Sep 28, 2012 at 8:30am to 4:30pm

Location: Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46241

Description: Cost: 99 Note: additional family scholarships for registration and lodging are available.  See page 11 of  brochure: 

“Journey to Success: Down Syndrome Through the Lifespan   Scholarship Application Form

Two different scholarships are available for Journey to Success: Down Syndrome Through the Lifespan due to the generosity of the Russell Best Family and Consumer Investment Funding which was obtained from theGovernor's Council for People with Disabilities. One or both parents can each apply for both scholarships.

1. Conference fee scholarship: provides $75 (approximately 75%) of the $99 conference registration fee.  Which comes out to a $24 conference fee after you do the math!

2. Lodging scholarship: covers the room rate and applicable taxes to stay at the host hotel on the evening of September 27, 2012. You must reside at least 50 miles from the conference site to receive the lodging scholarship.”                                                                    

Value: 7 (7 instructional hours or .7 credential units)

Keynote speaker Michael Remus will share some memories and experiences that will continue to enrich his life forever. He will share his stories of getting his two sons with disabilities what they needed and yet do it with a sense of humor and with the passion that the audience has for their sons and daughters.


More Info: 
Download a copy of the brochure here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Buddy Walk® Team Hi-Lite – Lexi Lou’s Whos 2012

Team Lexi Lou's Whos

Alexis and I had the privilege of talking to a few hundred 3rd graders last year about Down syndrome for the “Everybody Counts” program at the Noblesville schools.  One of the first questions asked at some of these talks was, “What’s wrong with Alexis?”  And I was very glad that I could tell them, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Alexis.”

Having Down syndrome doesn’t mean there’s something wrong.  It’s not a disease.  Nobody caused it.  You can’t catch it.  Down syndrome just happens to be something that Alexis was born with, just as she was born with fair skin, blond hair, her daddy's blue eyes, her mama's terrible vision, and a smile that melts the hearts of everyone in our family.

And we walk because we want people to understand that.  We wouldn’t change anything about our little girl.  Alexis is a normal and healthy 3 year old girl who loves her brothers, music, and pizza (in that order), and happens to have Down syndrome.  To us, Alexis is perfectly Alexis.

This isn’t to say that we don’t have challenges.  Who doesn’t?  People with Down syndrome often have accompanying medical challenges:  heart defects, hearing loss, low muscle tone and delays.  And thanks to Down Syndrome Indiana, people with Down syndrome and their families have lots of support at their fingertips.

The Buddy Walk raises money for Down Syndrome Indiana, an organization that provides information, support, and advocacy for people with Down syndrome and their families.  We will be walking on October 13, 2012 at Celebration Plaza-White River State Park and we welcome anyone to come and walk with us. We appreciate any donation you can make and no donation is too small.  (Donating through this website is simple, fast and secure. It is also the most efficient way to support our fundraising efforts.)

With gratitude,

The Smith Family (Jason, Kendra, Nicholas, Blake, and Alexis)

Monday, August 13, 2012

6th Annual Fly-in a Huge Success!

The Annual Fly-in on August 4th was a huge success! Together you raised over $17,000
to support the lives of individuals with Down syndrome! Thanks to Andi Montgomery, Rozie Montgomery, ALL the folks at Montgomery Aviation and the Fly-in sponsors, including:  

Aloft Strategies

Beck's Hybrids

Celebration Central

Copper Moon Entertainment

Denison Parking

Dyer Construction

Dugdale Beef

Enterprise Rental Car

Facer Insurance

Indianapolis Car Exchange

Indianapolis Executive Airport

Jan's Village Pizza

Le Dolce Vita Patisserie

Montgomery Aviation


Save the date for next year’s fly in on Saturday, August 3rd!  See you there!