DSAW Central Wisconsin
Who we are
The Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin - Central is a local resource for people with Down syndrome, their families and others that support them. Our vision is that we all understand the value of those with Down syndrome in our lives and our communities. We continually strive toward full acceptance, full access, full life and full potential.
We serve Marathon and surrounding counties, including Portage, Lincoln, Taylor, Clark, and Wood.
DSAW-Central chapter is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization organized through the Down Syndrome Association of WI, Inc. All donations are tax-deductible and support programs and services in Central Wisconsin.
What we offer
FRATERNAL SUPPORT & PROGRAMMING Our chapter is looking to schedule regularly occurring programming and events such as Parent's Nights Out, support groups, and other member socials. To help plan an event or start a Parent Support Group near you, email us!
PARENT'S FIRST CALL We offer information about Down syndrome for new and expectant parents; the opportunity to talk with other parents about emotions and questions; support groups; assistance navigating medical and early intervention services; referrals to local and national resources, and much more. We offer a hotline and email address for new and expectant parents to receive immediate information, and we send prenatal parent packs and welcome baskets, too!
MEDICAL TRAINING Recent advancements in prenatal testing have resulted in skyrocketing termination rates for fetuses with Down syndrome as balanced and unbiased information struggles to keep pace. DSAW conducts continuous statewide medical trainings and webinars, provides gold star resources and state-specific resources for medical professionals and the public, and engages in statewide marketing campaigns to educate the public on the importance of individuals with Down syndrome.
DSAW-FAMILY SERVICES DSAW-FS provides private, public, and IRIS (Include Respect I Self-Direct) supported services to adults and young adults with Down syndrome, other disabilities and their families to achieve a full and independent life in the community. DSAW-FS focuses on individualized, customized solutions to help any person in the state of Wisconsin overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. Services include: personalized goal development; identification of benefits, housing, employment, transportation and caregiving assistance to achieve our client’s goals; crisis and back-up support; budget coordination and implementation of the final support plan; as well as social connections and support circles. DSAW-FS also specializes in one-on-one Roadmap Sessions.
EDUCATION We offer educational resources to help families, medical professionals, workplaces, students, and the general public learn more about topics related to Down syndrome. Our educational programs include Workplace / Peer Sensitivity Training; seminars, conferences, and teacher in-services; webinars on various topics; and the DSAW Speakers Series.
AWARENESS We work to raise awareness and promote inclusion, diversity and acceptance of people with Down syndrome in our communities and in our lives. We do this through our annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walk, our resource directory, Parent's First Call Program, and mass communications strategies to raise awareness of Down syndrome in Wisconsin.
ADVOCACY We work hard to make sure that the voices of individuals with Down syndrome and all disabilities are heard throughout Wisconsin. DSAW is a member of several statewide Down syndrome and disability advocacy groups and regularly works to mobilize DSAW members to support changes in our state that will support individuals with Down syndrome and other special needs.
FINANCIAL We provide member grants for local families in need who would like to participate in conferences and educational programs, as well as provide funding for approved activities. If you are a member of DSAW, you are eligible to apply. Click here to access the online application.