Programs & Services
DSAW’s vision is that we all understand the value of those with Down syndrome and other disabilities in our lives and our communities. To meet this vision, we continue to strive toward full acceptance, full access, full life and full potential. We do this through the following programming:
No matter where you live, DSAW is here to help across your loved one's lifespan! We offer you statewide support on four levels, depending on your community: individual, Parent Support Groups, Regional Committees, and Chapters. Click here to learn more about these four levels and to find support and programming near you.
Parent's First Call offers 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!
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-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.
DSAW offers statewide 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; statewide webinars on various topics; and the DSAW Speakers Series.
DSAW works 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 seven annual Down Syndrome Awareness Walks around the state, our resource directory, Parent's First Call Program, and mass communications strategies to raise awareness of Down syndrome in Wisconsin.
DSAW works 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.
DSAW's West Allis-based State Headquarters serves the entire state of Wisconsin while piloting replicable programs & services in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Click here to learn more about our full menu of programming, including Young Leaders Academy, tween and teen groups, parent/grandparent support groups around a variety of topics, and more. In addition, the DSAW state headquarters houses the offices of our state staff.