Global Down Syndrome Educational Grants Have Provided $232,500 to 23 Innovative Programs for Parents, Professionals and People With Down Syndrome Across U.S.

2014 grant recipients announced at National Down Syndrome Congress Convention

DENVER & ATLANTA (July 12, 2014) – The Global Down Syndrome Educational Grants have provided $232,500 to local Down syndrome organizations from around the United States funding 23 innovative educational programs to medical professionals, self-advocates and parents of people with Down syndrome.

Michelle Sie Whitten and Missy Holman
Michelle Sie Whitten, Global Down Syndrome Foundation Executive Director, and Missy Holman of Down Syndrome Foundation of Eastern New Mexico, 2014 grant recipient.

This year, nine educational programs are receiving grants varying from $5,000 to $10,000, totaling $77,500. The nine local Down syndrome organizations and their programs are being announced today at the National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention in Indianapolis. The Global Down Syndrome Educational Grants program is a collaboration between the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (“Global”) and the National Down Syndrome Congress (“NDSC”).

“The local Down syndrome organizations who have received our grants have made a wonderful impact in their communities affecting the lives of thousands of people with Down syndrome,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of Global. “We are proud to foster growth and provide resources to our local partners.”

Grant recipients detailed their ideas, budgets and goals for educational programs as part of their applications, which were reviewed by Global and NDSC for thoroughness, potential, diversity and sustainability. More than 70 applications have been submitted through the program.

“We continue to be impressed by the quality of the grant requests for this program and we are excited by how this year’s grants will help improve the lives of people with Down syndrome through greater awareness, better medical care and educational support,” said David Tolleson, executive director of NDSC. “These programs will improve access to technology, promote critical life and job skills, and teach the community about all the contributions that people with Down syndrome can and do make.”

The 2014 grant recipients are:

  • Club 21 Learning & Resource Center (Southern California) — “Equipping Educators” will provide funding for substitute teachers so that 50 general education teachers can attend training on inclusion and addressing the needs of students with Down syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands (Nebraska and Iowa) — “Down Syndrome Education Series for Parents” will help parents of children with Down syndrome be better equipped to participate in their students’ education, work more effectively with their school districts, and prepare for transitions.
  • Down Syndrome Association of Delaware — “Adult Down Syndrome Clinic” will be a new program initially serving five patients per clinic with a goal of 100 unique patients over the first three years. Funding will help provide education to the physicians and staff at the clinic while mirroring some of the successful Adult Down Syndrome Clinic models found across the country.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Group of Baton Rouge (Louisiana) — “Second Annual Down Syndrome Conference” will be an expanded version of the group’s first successful conference, allowing for a dance for people with Down syndrome and more education and networking opportunities for medical professionals, parents and children with Down syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome Community (Seattle) — “Learning Program – Level 1 Pilot” will supplement traditional education, focusing on parents as first teachers for their children. Level 1 focuses on skill development for literacy, math, language and fine motor skills.
  • Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeastern New Mexico  — “Education Workshop” is intended to build upon the success of previous workshops to reach over 150 school administrators, teachers, therapists, auxiliary staff and parents and provide valid research and techniques in educating students with Down syndrome.
  • Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization (Florida) — “Get a Life!” will be a monthly program geared toward transition-age individuals who have Down syndrome to give them and their families the tools for developing a full life in the community as adults.
  • Montana Down Syndrome Association — “Resource Connection” will provide a unique resource library offering books, curriculum materials, adaptive equipment and play materials that can be loaned to families of people with Down syndrome.
  • Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio — “Mind Body Soul Adult Mini-Conferences” will be two half-day events for adults with Down syndrome that provide a series of hands-on activities such as photography, makeup and party planning, as well as life-skills topics like safety, technology, money management and other critical issues for daily living.

About the Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through research, medical care, education and advocacy. Formally established in 2009, Global has the primary focus of supporting the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the U.S. committed to research and medical care for people with the condition, and the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado, the largest multi-disciplinary team in the U.S. providing medical care for people with Down syndrome. Fundraising and government advocacy that corrects the alarming disparity of national funding for people with Down syndrome is a major short-term goal. Global organizes the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show — the single-largest annual fundraiser benefiting people with Down syndrome. Global organizes and funds many programs and conferences, including the Dare to Play Football Camp with Ed McCaffrey, Global’s Denver Broncos Cheerleaders Dare to Cheer Camp, the Global Down Syndrome Educational Series, and the Dare to Play Soccer Camp. Global is an inclusive organization without political or religious affiliation or intention.


About the National Down Syndrome Congress

Founded in 1973, the National Down Syndrome Congress is the oldest national organization for people with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who work with them. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy organization, the NDSC provides free technical support and information about issues related to Down syndrome throughout the lifespan, as well as on matters of public policy relating to disability rights.  Best known for its annual convention – the largest of its type in the world – the National Down Syndrome Congress is a grassroots organization recognized for its “family” feel, its “We’re More Alike than Different” public awareness campaign, and its outreach to individuals from diverse backgrounds.