Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Please Consider a Year-End Donation to DSI...

Do you care about people with Down syndrome? We do too! Just like you, we believe each person with Down syndrome should enjoy a happy, healthy and productive daily life. Can we count on you to help us this season?

With your continued support, in the next 1,000 days, Down Syndrome Indiana plans to accomplish the following on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome:
Expand The Learning Program™, that so many of our families have been very excited about, so that we can offer additional levels in Indy and launch this valuable program in Lafayette as well; 
Reach an additional 500 parents;
Bring the iCan Bike program to our Terre Haute families…

We still need to raise $14,000 to make our year end goal for 2017. Please make a donation today to help us reach this goal.  Click here to donate.

We have a big vision for people with Down syndrome… Down Syndrome Indiana wants everyone touched by Down syndrome to help us create a better future and a stronger community around people with Down syndrome. We are going to need the support of parents, individuals with Down syndrome themselves, grandparents, medical professionals, service providers, educators and volunteers to make it happen. Are you willing to lend your support? 

Because of you and people just like you, Down Syndrome Indiana has passed many milestones so far in 2017:

·         Served 1,753 parents and 837 individuals with Down syndrome;
·         Distributed 181 New Parent Packets;
·         We gave $13,000 in scholarships and financial aid;
·         7,000 people attended DSI events
·         3,368 hours were donated by 96 volunteers;
·         1,568 have been served through awareness presentations (over 200 more than last year!);
·         10,000 people visited our website for information and resources;
·         In 2017 so far, we have impacted over 17,000 people.

In addition, we launched The Learning Program™, Buddy Walk® Terre Haute and an Education Advisory Committee. We created a Ds timeline and a new strategic plan that will take us through 2021. BUT we want to do so much more… Please make a yea- end donation so we can continue to improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. Thank you!

It is my pleasure to serve you,

Lisa Wells
Lisa Wells, Executive Director

P.S. We want to see adults being employed in larger numbers in the community...Our theme for 2018 is going to be employment. We will make it easy for employers to understand why and how to employ individuals with Down syndrome in the community. Your support is important!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

List of Businesses that Employ people with Down syndrome

Let’s celebrate those businesses that employ individuals with Down syndrome. Below is a list of businesses that employ someone with Down syndrome. If you know of a business that is not listed, please let me know at Lisa@dsindiana.org... 

2659 E Main Street
Plainfield, IN 46168

202 W Washington St,
Lebanon, IN 46052

Aspen Creek
13489 Tegler Drive
Noblesville, IN 46060

Butler University
Indianapolis, IN

Chicago Pizza
2230 Stafford Road
Plainfield, IN 46168

Chick – Fil – A 
5240 E Southport Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46237

16685 Mercantile BLVD
Noblesville, IN 46060
Community Health Network

Dog Dayz
15310 Herriman Blvd
Noblesville, IN 46060

Dominoes Pizza
(9th and Michigan?)

Down Syndrome Indiana
708 E Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dunkin’ Donuts
1305 S. Range Line Road
Carmel, IN 46032

Fox’s Pizza, Lafayette
4921 IN-26
Lafayette, IN 47905

Indianapolis Public Schools

8752 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46268

5825 Sunnyside Road
Indianapolis, IN 46235

1217 S Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN 46032

Longhorn Steakhouse
5840 W 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46278

Marion University
3200 Cold Springs Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46222


5349 W Pike Plaza Road
Indianapolis, IN 46254

Olive Garden
Hamilton Town Center,
13285 Tegler Dr, Noblesville, IN 46060

Panera Bread
1346 S Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN 46032

Pepe’s, Lafayette
2525 Sagamore Pkwy S,
Lafayette, IN 47905

Robert Brothers Law Office
151 N Delaware St # 1400,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Scotty’s Brewhouse
3905 E. 96th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

Scotty’s Brewhouse
1800 E King St.
Franklin, IN 46131

Signcraft Image Solutions
8816 Corporation Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46256

University of Indianapolis
1400 E Hanna Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46227

YMCA: Fishers
9012 E 126th St,
Fishers, IN 46038

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The importance of exercise in individuals with Down syndrome

By Megan Stringer, Neuroscience PhD student at IUPUI and blogger at neurochow.blog

Most parents are aware of the importance of physical activity, as it can directly improve sleep quality, extend life expectancy and reduce the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and obesity.  However, this is especially true for individuals with DS, as they are at a higher risk for developing obesity and type 2 diabetes, and research suggests that some are more sedentary than their peers.  The importance of exercise in individuals with DS is supported by several studies that report benefits of a strength and cardiovascular program at multiple ages.  

In adults, a Wii-based exercise program conducted twice a week for two months resulted in improvements in flexibility and motor performance.  A separate study showed that a three month fitness and health education program significantly improved attitudes towards exercise and improved life satisfaction.  Adolescents with DS can also benefit from similar programs, as one study showed that exercises consisting of brief treadmill training and virtual-reality based activity tests exhibited improved agility and muscle strength.  An additional study reported that adolescents undergoing a training program for eight weeks significantly improved their balance.  However, a specific strength or cardiovascular program is not required to reap the benefits of exercise.  For example, youth with DS who learned to ride a bike increased their physical activity and decreased their body fat levels one year after learning compared to those that did not.  Research also suggests that exercise may strengthen bones, as adolescent females with high levels of activity also had significantly higher bone mineral density.

An important factor to consider is that families of an individual with DS can encounter physical, social and environmental obstacles when trying to improve the physical health of their child.  However, the good news is that there are several local Indiana programs aimed to help individuals of all ages and abilities lead healthier lives.  DSI sponsors many of these programs, including tennis lessons and dance camps.  In addition, IUPUI offers an Adapted Physical Activity clinic during the fall and spring semesters for individuals at least 15 years old.  The clinic meets once a week at the National Institute for Fitness and Sport located in downtown Indianapolis.  Participants in this clinic receive individualized physical fitness programming based on their abilities.  The programs focus on building muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance and range of motion.  Participating in these local programs allows individuals with DS to have an active role in their own health care, and provides them to opportunity to improve their physical health and overall well-being.

Check out the DSI program guide which highlights many of the activity classes mentioned above: http://www.dsindiana.org/files/content/2017_Program%20Guide.pdf.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Volunteer Spotlight: Karley Woodson

Karley (shown above) also began volunteering with Down Syndrome Indiana in October when she and Katrina came up with the idea for Movin’ and Groovin’. The class consisted of different styles of dance each week that encouraged fun and physical activity for the students. “I love that I am able to help others by volunteering. I love that with this volunteer position, I am able to share my passion of dancing with others. It brings me joy to see how much fun the kids are having in our dance class” said Karley about volunteering with DSI.

Karley is a 22 year old senior studying Community Health Education/ Pre-Occupational Therapy. Karley is originally from Crown Point, Indiana and has also been dancing since she was three, mainly in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. In the future, Karley plans to go to school for Occupational Therapy or get a Master’s in Public Health and work in health administration or health wellness and promotion. She would also love to keep dance incorporated in her future by teaching.

Karley doesn’t have a direct connection to Down syndrome, however her mom was a supervisor of special education for Hammond Schools. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Katrina Decanini

Katrina (shown above) begin volunteering with DSI this October when she and Karley came up with the idea for the Movin’ and Groovin’ Dance Class for a class project. “I love seeing all the different and new people you can meet through doing different events. It is rewarding to watch people grow and develop and truly enjoying themselves.”, said Katrina when asked about volunteering at Down Syndrome Indiana.

A Little More about Katrina
Katrina is a full-time senior at University of Indianapolis in Public Health Education and Promotion. Her future plans include getting her Master in Public Health and eventually going back to school for a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  She loves to work with individuals that are injured and or have a disability.  She likes to be able to find ways to make them move and bring them closer into society. She feels each and every person is a learning experience and finds it is amazing to see people strive for more and excel because of what she teaches.

Katrina’s roots in dance go back to when she was 3 years old. She did ballet, modern dance and jazz all the way through high school. Her freshman and sophomore year of college, she was on the UIndy Dance Team. She discovered her love for rehabilitation and therapy through her multiple dance injuries, which include dislocating both knees and a knee surgery.  
In addition to school and volunteering at Down Syndrome Indiana, Katrina is an intern with Special Olympics Indiana for their Health Fitness program. She also works at Topgolf in Fishers. Over this past summer, Katrina also volunteered with Live, Laugh, Dance. She says, “That definitely helped the ideas and process of Movin' and Groovin'”.

 When Katrina somehow finds time in her life, she finds cooking and baking to be a lot of fun. She loves experimenting and creating foods with what she has available. She also has a cat and chinchilla that she loves very much.

Katrina has an uncle with Down syndrome who lives in Mexico.