The mission of DSAA is to educate stakeholders, unite our community, and build bridges between worlds, so that individuals with Down syndrome and their families are connected to opportunities for an amazing life.
DSAA envisions a world where individuals with Down syndrome and their families are connected to opportunities for an amazing life.
Founded by a small group of parents in 1979, The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta (DSAA) is a 501 (c)(3) Georgia non-profit organization dedicated to providing individuals with Down syndrome and their families life-long community connections.
There was a need to provide support and information to families who had, or were expecting, babies with Down syndrome. DSAA started working out of family's homes and having board meetings at kitchen tables across metro Atlanta. In 1985, DSAA became a 501(c)(3) public charity. Throughout the 1990’s, DSAA found itself growing in both numbers of families touched and in funding resources. In 2008, we celebrated our 30th Anniversary at a Gala Banquet and Dance. By 2008 DSAA was able to hire its first employees, an Executive Director and an Assistant Director.
Today, DSAA serves 800 families in 18 counties in the greater Metro-Atlanta area with its programs, services, resources, and activities for all age groups. It is the largest volunteer organization for those touched by Down syndrome in Georgia. DSAA is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action (DSAIA).
What DSAA Does
- Coordinates year-round parent education programs.
- Convenes conferences and events for parents, educators, and health care providers.
- Organizes social gatherings and events for member families.
- Manages the First Call program, which partners with 26 metro Atlanta birthing hospitals to provide accurate and up to date information and support to expectant parents with a new diagnosis, and distributes current information about Down syndrome to OB/GYN practices in metro Atlanta.
- Manages the Educational Liaison program, which provides information and activities for educators working with students who have Down syndrome.
- Oversees a community-based parent networking program, currently comprised of 14 area groups.
- Serves as an umbrella organization for the Atlanta chapter of Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (D.A.D.S.), which provides fellowship and support to fathers of children with Down syndrome.
- Directs an extensive social media presence to provide support, information and resources for parents and caregivers.
- Leads the Asociación Hispana de Sindrome de Down en Atlanta (AHSDA) - DSAA’s Hispanic outreach and support program, which serves over 250 families. AHSDA is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the county.
- Advocates for issues affecting persons with Down syndrome locally and nationally through the annual Georgia Disability Day, annual Buddy Walk on Washington, and National Down Syndrome Society’s (NDSS) DS-Ambassador program.
- Orchestrates an annual Buddy Walk® each October to raise awareness and financial support.
- Recognizes citizens and organizations who have made a significant contribution to the Down syndrome community through its Buddy Awards program.
- A significant funder of the Adult Disability Medical Home (ADMH), which provides regional specialty healthcare to adolescents (age 16) and adults with Down syndrome and their families and other caregivers.
- Significantly supports the Emory Down Syndrome Clinic, which provides specialty healthcare to children with Down syndrome up to age 14.
- Partners with and provides financial support to Gigi’s Playhouse Atlanta, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free therapeutic programming, resources, and support to families of individuals with Down syndrome.
- Provides financial support to Habima Theatre, Corrigan Care and many other programs for those with disabilities.