Each year, DSAA sponsors and provides volunteers for Jerry's Habima Theater. Jerry's Habima Theatre is Georgia's only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals that features actors with special needs. Each year, together with local professional actors from the community, Jerry's Habima Theatre presents a musical theatrical production to sell-out audiences and much acclaim.
The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta holds or sponsors several events each year:
DSAA proudly supports the Bregman Dance, which is held in conjunction with the annual Bregman Educational Conference. The conference and dance attracts self-advocates, family members, and caregivers each spring. Over 200 young adults with disabilities are in attendance each year. DSAA provides the DJ, refreshments, and chaperones.
Jerry's Habima Theater
DSAA Spring Social
Each year, DSAA shakes off the Winter Blues with a Spring Social for our families. Recent Spring Socials have been held at Stone Mountain Park, Lake Lanier Islands, and Zoo Atlanta.
DSAA Holiday Party
Each year, DSAA celebrates the holiday season at the holiday party. The annual DSAA Holiday Party is a family event, with Santa, crafts, and food. The annual business meeting is held at the Holiday Party.
For a complete list and more information about any DSAA events, check our Calendar.
Buddy Walk 2020 Registration is Open!
Join us as we unite for a common cause and raise funds at the 2020 Atlanta Buddy Walk® on Saturday, October 3rd. Get your teams set up and donate or register today! Help us spread the word; all are welcome for a day of celebration!
DSAA is looking for Volunteers!
If you are interested in helping the DSAA grow, we could use you! Volunteer opportunities include:
- Serve on a Buddy Walk committee - Buddy Walk is our largest fundraiser of the year!
- Help with fundraising
- Participate in our First Call program and be a resource to families with a new diagnosis
- Create new parent welcome kits
- Help plan education seminars for parents
- Help a community networking group plan programs in the community
- Use your business skills to help with our database, outreach, mailings and more
Got an idea? Let's here it! Contact Sheryl Arno at Sheryl.Arno@dsaatl.org.
The mission of DSAA is to guide Atlanta’s Down syndrome community by connecting families and self-advocates to the partners, programs, education and resources they need to thrive.
DSAA's vision is to equip and ready individuals with Down syndrome for a world that is ready for them!
Community, Commitment, Collaboration, Connection, Creativity, Celebration
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 healthcare providers
- Organizes social gatherings and events for member families
- Distributes current information about Down syndrome to OB/GYN practices, pediatricians and hospitals in metro Atlanta.
- 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.
- Leads the Asociación Hispana de Sindrome de Down en Atlanta (AHSDA) - DSAA’s Hispanic outreach and support program, which serves over 250 families and is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country.
- Advocates for issues affecting persons with Down syndrome locally and nationally.
- Orchestrates an annual Buddy Walk® each October to raise awareness and financial support.
Click here for a copy of our IRS Tax Exempt status.
Click here for our 990.
Click here for downloadable Fact Sheet
Fun OT Activities To Do While At Home
- Sparkle Bottle
- Supplies Needed
- Empty water bottle
- Clear Elmer’s glue
- Room temperature water
- Regular glitter
- Hot glue gun
- Food coloring
- Fill bottle ¾ of the way with water
- Add glue, the more glue the better
- Add the glitter
- Squeeze a few drops of food coloring in the water
- Super glue or hot glue lid to bottle
Search + Find Bottle
- Supplies Needed:
- Empty dry water bottle
- Dry Rice
- Small items (beads, erasers, pom poms, toy animals)
- Add rice to an empty water bottle
- Add small items
- Hot glue lid to bottle
- Have child search for the items you put in bottle by shaking the bottle
Make a list of the items inside and have child check them off as they find them
Connection to OT: Helps with sensory visual seeking behaviors, works on following directions, visual motor skills when looking for items in the bottle
Penne Pasta Play
- Make a necklace or bracelet by stringing penne pasta on thin string/thread
- String Penne on chopsticks, twigs from outside
- Stick straws or pipe cleaners into Styrofoam block (from old packaging) or hold them and thread the pasta through
- Push penne pasta into play dough or putty
Stick straws in putty and thread the pasta onto the straws
Connection to OT: Works on concentration, attention, focus, finger strengthening, eye-hand coordination, visual motor integration and fine motor skills
Fun with Pipe Cleaners
- Cut straws and thread pipe cleaner through them
- Push pipe cleaners through strainer; can also attempt to thread the pipe cleaner through more than one hole
- Write a number on a cup and parent make holes on top of cup. Have kiddo push the pipe cleaners through the holes
- For older kids working on writing, make the alphabet out of pipe cleaners. Kids can trace the pipe cleaners for sensory feedback with finger and then write the letter with pencil
- For younger kids, work on making shapes out of the pipe cleaners and trace with finger (parents can also make the shape and have kids trace with finger)
Thread beads on a pipe cleaner; count the beads, create and follow a pattern and use pincer grasp to pick up small beads
Connection to OT: fine motor skills, pincer grasp, visual motor integration, attention and focus, eye hand coordination, counting, handwriting, following directions
More fun activities! Get creative with the ideas below: