Monday, June 23, 2014

In a Perfect World.... There would be no discrimination.

In a perfect world, there would be no discrimination; not against race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, sexual affiliation or disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act and subsequent ruling called the Olmstead decision are steps that have helped the disability community move toward a world in which there is less discrimination.


Last Sunday, we celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Olmstead decision. On June 22nd, 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities cannot be unnecessarily segregated and must receive services in the most integrated setting possible. For example, In the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Congress described the isolation and segregation of individuals with disabilities as a serious and pervasive form of discrimination. 42 U.S.C. § 12101(a)(2), (5). Title II of the ADA, which proscribes discrimination in the provision of public services, specifies, inter alia, that no qualified individual with a disability shall, “by reason of such disability,” be excluded from participation in, or be denied the benefits of, a public entity’s services, programs, or activities. §12132. Congress instructed the Attorney General to issue regulations implementing Title II’s discrimination proscription. See §12134(a). One such regulation, known as the “integration regulation,” requires a “public entity [to] administer … programs … in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.” 28 CFR § 35.130(d). A further prescription, here called the “reasonable-modifications regulation,” requires public entities to “make reasonable modifications” to avoid “discrimination on the basis of disability,” but does not require measures that would “fundamentally alter” the nature of the entity’s programs. §35.130(b)(7).


Since Olmstead v. L.C., much progress has been made. Many individuals have successfully transitioned to community settings, but waiting lists for community services have grown considerably especially in Indiana and many individuals who would like to receive community services are not yet able to obtain them. Barriers facing those who want to live on their own still exist, such as, finding affordable, accessible housing and improving access to quality support and services tailored to each person's goals.


Down Syndrome Indiana is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and believes in the inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome in their community.  We are collaborating with many agencies throughout Central Indiana and the state to fight for the rights of individuals with Down syndrome to live independently and to not be discriminated against. Check out our vision for the future of individuals with Down syndrome and that of Down Syndrome Indiana at:


It is my pleasure to serve you,



Lisa Wells Executive Director


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NDSC Convention: Just a drive away

42nd annual convention brings together families, professionals in downtown Indy


INDIANAPOLIS - The first to take place in Indiana since 1976, the National Down Syndrome Congress 42nd Annual Convention will take place this summer at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis July 11-13, 2014.


Within driving distance for most of the Midwest, Indianapolis provides a unique travel opportunity for families who want to feel prepared and empowered to support a loved one with Down syndrome.


Who: NDSC and host, Down Syndrome Indiana, invite families, educators and medical professionals to take part in this three-day educational event. More than 2,500 people are expected to take part this year.


What:  Each year, the NDSC convention will include internationally known speakers, more than 60 topic-specific workshops, including the Brothers and Sisters conference for siblings of individuals with Down syndrome and the Youth and Adults conference is for self advocates aged 15 and up, as well as breakout sessions and other social events.


When: July 11-13, 2014


Where: JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis (10 S West Street Indianapolis, IN 46204)


To register for the event go to

For volunteer opportunities contact Alyssa Ludlow, DSI Volunteer Coordinator, at  Group volunteer slots are still available.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sarah's Great Day!

One of my favorite parts of working at DSI is the amazing people that I meet every single day. I recently had the opportunity to find out more about a local online cooking show called Sarah’s Great Day. It is developed by a local mother and her daughter Sarah, who is 15 and happens to have Down syndrome. Prepare to be inspired as Sarah develops her skills in math, cooking and acting! In addition to being an uplifting, feel good show, it is filmed by local high school students who are also gaining valuable skills. To support Sarah in her pursuit of independence (and the cooking of great food!), DSI will begin posting links to Sarah’s show in our e-newsletters and posting her recipes on a weekly basis. So for the first featured episode, let’s meet Sarah as she plants basil and makes pesto from scratch!



Don’t just have a good day, have a GREAT day!



Lisa Wells, Executive Director