Global Hires Specialist Focused on Adults with Down Syndrome

In 2015 Global allocated considerable human and financial resources towards creating a multi-year plan to specifically improve the lives of adults with Down syndrome.  One important step was hiring Bryn Gelaro, LSW, a social worker who was mentored by leading experts at The Adult Down Syndrome Center at Lutheran General Hospital just outside of Chicago.

“I am so pleased to be able to continue to mentor Gelaro here at Global.  She is a rare find and truly gifted when it comes to working with our adults,” said Dr. Dennis McGuire, the co-founder of the adult center in Chicago and the co-author of “Mental Wellness of Adults with Down Syndrome” and “The Guide to Good Health for Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome.”

In Chicago Gelaro organized and managed a life-skills class for adults with Down syndrome. “There are a lot of great life-skills classes out there but there is a lack of evidence-based curriculum and tested improvement,” said Gelaro. “That’s what is exciting about working with Global – we can really address important gaps and move quickly towards improving lives.” 

Gelaro will assist with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation Educational Grant Program that currently funds nine post-secondary life-skills programs in eight states.  She will also assist Global with the following projects in 2016:

  • Helping to oversee a groundbreaking post-secondary research study
  • Assisting with the Global Adult Down Syndrome Task Force
  • Helping Dr. McGuire to organize behavioral health goals for Global’s future world-class medical center for adults with Down syndrome

“Adults with Down syndrome face so many barriers to services that could improve their happiness and well-being,” Gelaro said. “Often, our adults are not given voice. But being person-centered in our approach and in developing these programs gives them opportunities and empowers them to live full, meaningful lives.”

Gelaro received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Global, Gelaro worked at the Adult Down Syndrome Center at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago and at The Arc of Centre County in Pennsylvania. At Global, Gelaro acts as primary recruiter for the educational program in Denver.

Your year-end donation funds important Global Down Syndrome Foundation programs that support and empower adults with Down syndrome to live fulfilling lives. Click here to donate today.

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