Happenings in October - Down Syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down Syndrome Awareness month and there are plenty of opportunities to raise awareness, support your local Down syndrome organizations, advocate and learn!

It all begins with the 21st annual Buddy Walk Atlanta on Sunday, October 6 at Atlantic Station! If you haven't registered, we encourage you to do so in advance and if you cannot attend this year, please consider making a donation. Get all your Buddy Walk information here21st Annual Buddy Walk

On Wednesday, October 10, join the National Down Syndrome Congress at GiGi's Playhouse Atlanta to learn more about how to save money and protect your child's financial future with Georgia STABLE.

On Thursday, October 11, attend the Georgia Council on Developmental Disability's Candidate Forum on Disability Issues and hear from candidates running for the offices of Secretary of State, Superintendent of Schools, and State Insurance Commissioner as they speak on issues important to the disability community. Register for GCDD Candidate Forum here.

Then on Saturday, October 27, attend the Georgia Down Syndrome Consortium's Learning Summit at KSU! The cost is $50 per person and includes the conference, materials, lunch, and parking. Register for the Learning Summit here. Sessions include:

Health & Medical Updates

Georgia Down Syndrome Consortium Learning Summit
  • Hearing and ENT Issues
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Toilet Training & Hygiene
  • Congenital Heart Issues – short & long term considerations

Transitions & Long-term Goals

  • Long-term Financial Planning
  • Transitions for Teens & Adults – Health & Well-being
  • Employing Individuals with DS

  • Maximizing Independence – Parenting for Independent Living

Resources, Programs & Ongoing Support

  • Community Supports, Waivers & Public Systems
  • Family Support & Benefits; Georgia Trust
  • Programs & Resources for Spanish Speaking Families
  • Sibling Panel – Ongoing Support Systems

Technology & More

  • Tools For Life
  • Lekotek
  • Inclusive Congregations
  • Sports & Recreation

Update on Down syndrome Research

Georgia Stable 10-10 EventGeorgia Down Syndrome Consortium Learning Summit

GCDD invites the public to register online to attend the free event by October 5. Space is limited, and registration is required. Doors open at 5 PM.

Free parking is available adjacent to the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Building, and the building is also accessible by MARTA. The Georgia Advocacy Office will present sample ballot and voting booth demonstrations for attendees, and complimentary, heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. Want to submit questions for candidates? Complete this form

Sample Questions for the Candidates

  • Medicaid: As my child ages, they may rely on the Medicaid NOW and COMP waivers to receive the services and supports they need to be an independent and contributing member of our community. Currently, there is a waiting list for these waivers. Will you help us to add additional funding to DBHDD for the NOW & COMP waiting list?


  • Healthcare: Do you support the right of people with pre-existing health conditions to access health insurance at the same rate and cost as others without pre-existing health conditions?


  • Employment: Many people believe that Georgians with disabilities are not capable of working real jobs at real wages in the community, but we know this is not true. Georgia is currently exploring the idea of Employment First, which means that employment is the first and preferred option for how people with disabilities should spend their days. It does not mean that anyone with a disability will be forced to work. Will you support the work of the Employment First Council here in Georgia to make sure my child has every opportunity to go to work?


  • Education: Some people want to keep children with disabilities in separate classrooms at school. I know that my child should be integrated to the greatest extent possible with children without disabilities. How can you help make this happen?


  • Education: Historically, many young adults with Down Syndrome have been barred from pursuing and receiving the benefits of higher education. In Georgia, we are lucky enough to have nine Inclusive Post-Secondary Education programs that make college accessible for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Will you help support my child’s right to attend college by asking the General Assembly to provide more scholarship funding for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education here in Georgia?