2021 Greetings from Sheryl, Executive Director

Hello Friends and 2021,

I am happy to see the New Year and here’s hoping that things are moving in the right direction!

2021 calendar

DSAA Calendars
Final call to order your 2021 calendar! For $21 you can support DSAA, celebrate Down syndrome all year long and be inspired by the families in our community. Order here through January 15th. 

January 14th at 8:00 pm - Mom's Night with Stephanie Meredith
Guest speaker Stephanie Meredith will share insights on the current status of the Vaccine and Covid-19 as it relates to individuals with DS. Stephanie is a parent, author, and disability health advocate. She authored the letter that went to the Governor’s office and Commissioner Toomey requesting that individuals with DS be moved to a higher priority group for the vaccine; DSAA and many other Ga agencies signed the letter. She did this as a healthcare advocate but certainly had her MOM hat on! The event is for moms, but dads are welcome to listen in as well. Read the article on the CDC adding Down syndrome to the list for increased risk. RSVP to get the zoom link to attend.

Holiday Drive Committee
I am so proud of a new opportunity that I wanted to share. This year was devastating for many families that we support throughout the year. In response, the DSAA Board decided to donate the money that we would have spent on the holiday parties to families in need. Along with the “Angel Fund” of DSAA, The Yellow Crayon Fund and the Brown/Borak Family Fund, DSAA was able to donate $7,200 among 30+ families! It felt so right that we are committed to make this an annual event. In the coming months we will be looking to start a committee of volunteers that can help put this together; if you are interested please reach out to me.

Educational Opportunities
Programmatically we are looking to expand educational opportunity events. If there is a particular subject you want to learn about or a speaker that you want to hear from, please share! These can happen in Mom’s groups or another night geared toward

all parents and caretakers. Just to give you an idea, I am currently teaching a self-advocacy group for Gigi’s EPIC program for adults with DS.

Sessions we are considering for this year:

  • Debbie Shadrix - mom of Bradley, 31, who has been there, done that!
  • Dave Blanchard- Couples Connections in collaboration with NDSC
  • Leadership course - for adults with DS, siblings of an individual with DS and professionals; in collaboration with NDSC and Gigi’s Playhouse
  • Advocacy Training- state wide including DSA’s from around the state; coordinated by ARC GA
  • Options for after high school- hear from a panel on post-secondary options, employment and day programs; it’s never too early (or too late) to start the discussion

Again my email is sheryl.arno@dsaatl.org. You can certainly contact me anytime, but remember we currently are looking for Holiday Drive committee members (we want to get started early!) and new ideas for mom and parent sessions. Here’s to a happy and HEALTHY New Year!

Best, 
Sheryl Arno
Executive Director