Empowering Self-Advocates in Florida

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida (DSACF) was founded by a small group of families sitting around a kitchen table in 1991. Since then, DSACF’s mission of hope, encouragement, and acceptance has grown exponentially.


Down Syndrome World
This article is an excerpt from Down Syndrome World magazine, a publication of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. To receive Down Syndrome World, become a member of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation today at www.DownSyndromeWorld.org

Today, the group’s reach spans 11 counties, impacting more than 1,100 individuals who have Down syndrome, along with their loved ones and medical teams.

Growing together
In addition to year-round programming, DSACF hosts an annual Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in downtown Orlando that attracts nearly 10,000 participants.

Amy Van Bergen

The organization also regularly holds expert educational seminars on topics of interest to parents, such as behavior and education. As a global Down Syndrome Educational Grant recipient, it hopes to expand that work.

“The Grant helps us increase educational programming in undeserved rural areas,” said Amy Van Bergen, Executive Director of DSAF. “We’ve also begun a new course to help teach reading and other academic skills to adults with Down syndrome.” Plans are in motion to re-create the adult education track throughout the area and develop a toolkit that will allow smaller organizations to implement similar programs at little to no cost.

To donate, volunteer or learn more about DSACF, visit dsacf.org or call 407-478-5621

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