Connecting with the Medical Community: First Call Ambassadors
The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta holds training each year for members who volunteer to be First Call Ambassadors to distribute information to OB/GYN and perinatology practices in the Metro Atlanta area. These volunteers are also available to talk with expectant and new parents, if requested. The materials include a Medical Provider and an Expectant Parent Guide.
An Expectant Parent Guide will be sent upon request to anyone in Georgia as long as supplies last. Please contact us for a copy.
Making a First Impression: Parent Liaisons
The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta holds training each year for members who volunteer to be Parent Liaisons to the 26 local birthing hospitals in the Metro Atlanta area.
The trained Parent Liaisons are assigned to one or more hospitals and contact the labor and delivery, NICU, and social work staffs there to introduce themselves and they check in monthly to ensure that they have a supply of New Parent Packets to be given to new parents of babies born with Down syndrome. In addition, the Parent Liaisons are available to meet with new parents as requested. New Parent Packets are available in Spanish and a bilingual Parent Liaison is available.
Because many medical professionals are not equipped with updated information on Down syndrome, Parent Liaisons play a critical role in helping new families adjust. Additionally, parent liaisons also provide a special connection to new parents who often are unsure of what to expect. Parents or grandparents of children with Down syndrome themselves, Parent Liaisons can share their own stories and give much needed support and advice while offering a realistic picture of what it is like to raise a child with Down syndrome.
Note: We hold regular training sessions for new Parent Liaisons. You must attend one of these sessions to become a new Parent Liaison. We need additional people, particularly for the more rural hospitals and medical centers. Please contact us if you are interested in attending one of these sessions.
Teach the Teacher: Education Liaison
In 2008, the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta (DSAA) launched a program to provide information and support to school personnel who work with students with Down syndrome. Formerly called Down syndrome Specialists the DSAA is recruting Educators to serve as DSAA Education Liaisons to serve as representatives for their school system and as a liaison between the DSAA and local schools. Education Liaisons receive a free membership in DSAA, are eligible to attend DSAA Conferences at no cost, can request someone from the DSAA speakers’ bureau, and receive other supports as needed.
Anyone who is employed by a school system and working with students who have Down syndrome is welcome to become a Down Syndrome Specialist. For more information, please contact us.