Address details

Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A ‘fresh’ way of seeing the world

There is a great picture of the exhibiting artists and their work, with a man with Down syndrome front and centre, accompanying this Great Lakes Advocate story about an International Day of People with a Disability  arts event in Foster.

Extraordinary Visions Exhibition
Your Home Choices Unit 1, 6 Enterprise Court, Forster
Friday 3rd December - Friday 10th December (including weekend opening)
All works will be for sale.

Monday, 29 November 2010

First NSW Carers Advisory Council: members announced

The members of the first NSW Carers Advisory Council were announced on 24th November.
The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, who will chair the new council, said members would advise the NSW Government on issues affecting carers and the people they care for.
“The Carers Council will give a direct voice to the 750,000 carers in NSW who play a vital role in caring for people with a disability, people with mental illness or chronic illness, older people and people with dementia,” Mr Primrose said.
“There are also more than 90,000 carers under the age of 25 in NSW.
“A recent Access Economics national report estimated the replacement value of the care provided by informal carers at more than $40 billion a year.
“Governments alone could not possibly cope with such a task, however, carers provide more than just an economic benefit, they are part of people’s lives, often family or friends, who can provide love and support for people in need.
“The 14 members of the council, who come from around NSW, will represent the diversity of backgrounds and interests in the community.”
Ten members of the council are primary carers and the remaining four members include Elena Katrakis, Chief Executive Officer of Carers NSW and Professor Deborah Brennan from the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
Two senior government representatives have also been appointed.
Mr Primrose said that the quality of applicants was outstanding, with more than 190 applications received.
“The 10 carers will offer a range of perspectives, expertise and experience gained through many years of caring, plus a great deal of passion and commitment to advancing the interests of carers across the state,” Mr Primrose said.
“I look forward to working with the Council and receiving their advice on the best ways to enhance public recognition of the needs and vital contributions of carers, and to improve practical support for them in their caring role.”

For more information visit:

Members of the 2010-11 NSW Carers Advisory Council

1. Deborah BEWICK
Deborah Bewick from Wagga Wagga in south west NSW, brings to the Carers Advisory Council over 15 years experience of being a primary carer for her daughter who has a severe intellectual disability and challenging behaviours. Mrs Bewick has experienced the impact of policies and services on carers and has practical ideas for improvements that could better support carers and their families. She also brings a valuable non-metropolitan perspective from her strong links with other regional and rural carers in her local community.

Nancy Bosler, from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, is an older carer who has had both personal and professional experience of carer issues. At different times she has cared for family members with a physical disability and dementia. Additionally, her working life included working with families of children with a disability. She has great strengths in creating partnerships and has a particular passion for the potential of technology to reduce carer isolation.

3. Mary Lou CARTER
Mary Lou Carter is the mother of two most cherished sons. Through her sons and immediate family she has seen the full spectrum of ability, disability and care. She also understands at an individual and strategic level that the needs of carer-families are inextricably linked to the needs of the people for whom they care. Mrs Carter also brings a multicultural perspective to the Carers Advisory Council, having cared for and supported elderly parents with very limited English language skills.

4. Maryann HOUSHAM
Maryann Housham, from San Remo, is a Maori woman who has strong links to Aboriginal communities in the Hunter and Central Coast areas. Her caring experience crosses generations, being both a parent and grandparent of family members with a disability that encompass both mental health and intellectual disability issues. Her particular passions are communicating with carers from a range of cultural backgrounds, and increasing carers’ access to services and supports.

5. Elizabeth INGRAM
Elizabeth Ingram is an Aboriginal carer from Lake Cathie on the Mid North Coast of NSW. With over 20 years’ experience of caring for two family members with a mental illness, she brings to the Carers Advisory Council both a personal understanding of carer issues as well as a wealth of experience in supporting other carers in her community, including the development of practical carer resources.

6. Cheryl KOENIG
Cheryl Koenig from Menai in Sydney was thrust into the caring role 13 years ago when her son, aged 12 years old, was hit by a car. She has become an effective representative for people with brain injuries and their carers and is widely recognised for her role as a carer and advocate for carers. She was NSW Woman of the Year in 2009, and is the author of a book about her caring experiences.

7. Carolyn QUINN
Ms Carolyn Quinn has had experience of caring for family members with an intellectual and sensory disability for 21 years. Over that time she has developed strong carer networks and has presented to various audiences on her experience as a primary carer. Carolyn has extensive experience working as a consultant across the human services sector, both with government and non government organisations. She brings a broad perspective to the Carers Advisory Council and through her personal and professional experiences has a strong commitment to improving services for people with a disability and their carers.

8. Catharine RETTER
Catharine Retter, from Naremburn in Sydney, is a board member of Alzheimer’s Australia (NSW) and a member of the Consumer Dementia Research Network providing a consumer voice on dementia care research. For seven years she was the primary carer of a family member with dementia. She brings to the Carers Advisory Council excellent professional skills from the publishing industry, an interest in dementia as it affects both older and younger people and the family members who care for them, and a strong commitment to increasing the recognition of carers.

9. Peter STEVENS
Mr Peter Stevens, from North Sydney has an interest in dementia issues which is both personal and professional. For nine years he has been the primary carer for a family member with younger onset dementia. His professional interest led him to Chair the Alzheimer’s Australia (NSW) Younger Onset Dementia Summit in 2009. His perspective as an older male carer, combined with experience gained in a corporate career, will be invaluable to the Carers Advisory Council.

10. Tabitha WILSON
Tabitha Wilson is a young woman from the Eden Monaro area. While only 18 and in her final year of high school, Ms Wilson has years of experience as a carer for family members with mental illness and chronic health issues. She has a particular passion for and ideas about how the caring role impacts on young carers’ educational opportunities. With strong links to national and local young carer networks, Ms Wilson will be a valuable voice on the Carers Advisory Council.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Buddy Walk in the Outback: Cobar 2010

The 2010 Buddy Walk - Australia season finished with a new event in outback NSW, on 7th November. The Cobar Weekly reported:
Sharon Harland decided to coordinate a Buddy Walk in Cobar in support of friends who have children with Down syndrome.
“I have a little friend Daniel who is five years old and also a neighbour, Jacqui, who both have Down syndrome,” Mrs Harland said.

“They are gorgeous, funny little people who are just a bit different to most other kids. “Until I met Daniel and his family, I knew pretty much nothing about Down syndrome so getting to know Daniel has helped me to gain a better understanding of his abilities.”
Mrs Harland said the aim of a Buddy Walk is for a community to show support to families of children with Down syndrome and to celebrate their children’s achievements.

“Daniel and Jacqui already have great support from their families, their schools and a number of local community groups they are involved in.
“As they grow up they will come into contact with more people, and it will help if those people know something about Down syndrome.
“The main focus of the Cobar Buddy Walk is on raising awareness rather than raising money.

“I will however be asking walkers for a gold coin donation which will go to Down Syndrome NSW which provides support for families with children with Down syndrome.

“If people finish the walk knowing one or two more facts about Down syndrome, then I’d class it as a success,” Mrs Harland said.

And a great success it was, with 163 people participating, including a contingent of 10 from Bourke, 2 1/2 hour away. Participants ranged from just five months (Gus who was pushed in his pram by his dad David) up to 76 years. The walk was also supported by a number of groups including St John’s School staff, Cobar Pre School staff, Cobar Scouts, Cobar Guides and the Cobar Weighwatchers group. After completing the 4.8km walk, many families finished the day with a sausage sizzle at the Newey. Donations, proceeds from the sale of Buddy Walk merchandise and the sausage sizzle helped to raise $850 for Down Syndrome NSW to support families with children living with Down syndrome.

Thank you Cobar!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Dance concert

Dancing Hearts Studio

Invites you to attend their

Disability Dance

End of Year Concert 2010

Sunday 12th Dec 2010

Club Five Dock Auditorium
66 Great North Road, Five Dock NSW 2046

Performance commences at 3.30pm (doors open at 3.00pm)
Adults $12, Children $6 (3‐10yrs)
For ticketing information and purchases please contact:
Phone: 0488 44 02 02
Some of our members will be performing.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Library Thursdays: Let's Cook! Healthy meals for independent living

For all those inspired by Master Chef and Iron Chef or those who simply want to cook and eat healthily, there is a new cook book in the library. Let's Cook! Healthy meals for independent living by Elizabeth D. Riesz and Anne Kissack (Appletree Press, 2010) is a highly visual cookbook created for adults with special needs who want an adult cookbook that is simply written with lots of pictures and clear steps. Riesz' daughter, Sarah, has Down syndrome and began cooking as a teenager. She began collecting recipes and these form the foundation of the cookbook.

There are over 50 recipes in this book. How to make food choices, how much to eat, serving sizes, food and kitchen safety, and kitchen tools are discussed. A graphic that helps plan a meal by building a "healthy meal" from three, four or five food groups is used throughout the book. The recipes are divided into sections by food group and sections within those: Grains, Vegetables (Non-starchy and Starchy), Fruit, Dairy, Meat & Beans (Eggs, Fish, Chicken & Turkey, Beef & Pork). They range from very basic: Baked Potato, Fruit Smoothie to more involved casseroles and other main dishes. A section in the back looks at making healthy choices when eating in restaurants and snacks. There is a great range of basic recipes. It is an American cookbook so there is the occasional unusual ingredient ["vegetarian or lowfat turkey breakfast links"] but for the most part it is very useable here. Frozen vegetables, instant rice and canned soups are often used presumably to make things simpler, but I probably would like to see a recipe for non-instant rice and more use made of fresh food. Still, the recipes are healthy and look great in the pictures. It is a great book for increasing independence and health.

It is the first book in a series called "On my own". I look forward to seeing the next titles in this series that focuses on "promoting and reinforcing life skills for the adult with special needs".

Also in the library: Easy Cook Books - an Australian series of visual cook books. Not as many words as in Let's Cook but it is also an adult cookbook. See previous blog.

If you'd like to borrow any cookbooks or anything else, just call or email.

Down Syndrome International announces World Down Syndrome Day Awards 2010

Down Syndrome International (DSi) is delighted to belatedly announce the recipients of World Down Syndrome Day Awards for 2010.
2010 is the first year of the World Down Syndrome Day Awards, which are presented to individuals or organisations whose voluntary, professional or scientific activities have strengthened and enriched the lives of people with Down syndrome or contributed to scientific advancement related to Down syndrome. 
Visit the Down Syndrome International website for a list of the recipients, and their achievements.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Luke 14: supporting people with disabilities in Australian church communities

Luke14 is a CBM initiative aimed at equipping churches to welcome and include people with a disability. It is a process that assists churches to both reach in to improve church access and understanding, and reach out to offer support and friendship to people and families living with a disability in the community.

Luke14 provides the education, training and ongoing support that Christian communities need to become places of welcome for people and families living with a disability. A four-stage process of ministry development is at the heart of Luke14.

Disability ministry is a growing ministry need, yet only 5% of Australian churches have any intentional programs to include people with disabilities.

Inspired by Jesus’ call in Luke 14, CBM Australia has developed a program of the same name that seeks to better equip your church to meet the needs of your community.

The program is being launched in Sydney and in Wollongong this week:

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Up, Up and Away on Aurora TV

The documentary about the Up, Up and Away Project, launched in October 2009 is to be broadcast on Aurora TV (a Foxtel community channel) to coincide with International Day of People with a Disability, Friday 3rd December, 2010, at 9.00 pm.

Transition to Work creates bridge from school to employment

An evaluation of the NSW Government’s Transition to Work program has shown that more than 50% of participants achieve employment and education outcomes.
The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said that the program filled an important gap in disability employment services by enabling many young people with a disability to transition to open and supported employment.
“Many service users and their parents have told us that good employment outcomes would almost certainly not have been achieved without the Transition to Work program.”
Mr Primrose said that the evaluation report From Protection to Productivity – An Evaluation of the Transition to Work Program which was released, highlighted significant achievements for young people in the program.
“It found that Transition to Work is a very well designed initiative which creates bridges to enable young people with a disability to move from school to sustainable employment.
“While the evaluation report said that Transition to Work is delivering outcomes consistent with the aims and requirements of the program it also identified areas that require further development.
“These include the wide variation in the way services are delivered, the mixed employment outcomes achieved by service providers and the varied extent to which providers are able to confidently and pro actively link into the labour market.“
Mr Primrose said that the Keneally Government would continue to work with the disability sector to strengthen the program in line with the evaluation’s report.
The evaluation was commissioned last year by Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) to ensure that the Transition to Work program was assisting young people with a disability to gain employment after finishing school.
Mr Primrose said ADHC would use the report’s findings as a source of valuable information about how best to improve the Transition to Work Program and its employment outcomes.

Source:  Media release, Minister for Disability Services, 5/11//2010

Monday, 22 November 2010

The more colours we wear the brighter the world will be

Shoalhaven Disability Forum would like to invite people with a disability, family, friends and distinguished guests to come and join us for a DINNER DANCE to celebrate International Day for People with a Disability.

Theme: “The more colours we wear the brighter the world will be”

3rd December 2010
Bomaderry RSL Club 6pm

$16 per head $8 under 12 year old

Official Ceremonies commence at 6.15 pm and dinner will start at 6.30pm

Entertainment: Bomaderry Pride Singers, Bollywood Dancing exhibition, Music to dance to by a DJ for the night

Prizes: Lucky door, most colourfully dressed and most colourfully decorated table

Tickets: available till 26th November from Nowra Neighbourhood Centre 134 Kinghorne St Nowra ph 4421 5077

All Other inquires to ph 4429 3411

Source:  IDEAS NSW e-News Issue 11, 2010

The Inner West Disability Forum presents ‘This is MY Ability 2010’


Thursday 2nd December
10.30am - 1.30pm
Woodstock Community Centre 22 Church Street, Burwood
Access to car park via Fitzroy Street
• Zumba • Bollywood Dancing • Origami • Drumming • Magician • Dance & Music • Face Painting • Coffee & Ice Cream • Light Lunch

For enquiries and bookings contact Ethnic Child Care Family and Community Services Co-op Ltd on 9569 1288

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Hawkesbury performance workshops: bookings open for 2011

Performance in the Gallery offers performance workshops for people with mild to moderate intellectual and physical disabilities at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. Book now for 2011.

Further details are available from Accessible Arts website, here.

First Flight Crew: Don’t DIS my ABILITY

Accessible Arts NSW, the peak arts and disability organization across NSW, is delighted that hip hop group First Flight Crew have been selected as the faces of the Don’t DIS my ABILITY campaign for 2010.
First Flight Crew is an eight piece hip hop outfit from Western Sydney. Originally the crew came together in late 2008 as participants of a series of Accessible Arts and Club Wild workshops for people with a disability in song creation with hip hop artist Morganics.

Following this, the group was invited by Morganics to perform as part of a hip hop night with interstate and international artists, exposing the group to a new audience outside of the disability sector. First Flight Crew have been composing and performing widely across Sydney ever since with the support of Alison Richardson, Creative Programs Coordinator, Western Sydney Project. The Crew’s leadership and dedication to their art shows that anything is possible.

Accessible Arts’ Western Sydney Project has worked closely with arts centres and local councils across Western Sydney, raising awareness and creating opportunities in the arts for people with disability. This regional approach towards inclusive and accessible programs and practices for people with disability has fostered strong partnerships between the arts and disability sectors and local communities to ensure sustainability.

Sancha Donald, Accessible Arts CEO, recognizes the value of acknowledging First Flight Crew’s contribution to hip hop and their position as role models to other young people. ‘The core of our work is enabling and advocating for people with disabilities to be fully included in the creative and cultural life of our society, said Ms Donald. ‘First Flight Crew’s involvement in the Don’t Dis my ABILITY campaign is a real endorsement for providing opportunities to be creative and challenge perceptions about disability, and ability, as well.’

The Don’t DIS my ABILITY campaign is a state government initiative in the lead up to International Day of People with a Disability on December 3rd.

Upcoming First Flight Crew Gigs:

Don’t DIS my ABILITY Schools workshop and performance

Tuesday 23 November 2010 at 1:30pm
Sydney Secondary College, Black Wattle Bay Campus,
Taylor St, Glebe NSW 2037

Get DIS Party Started

Thursday 2 December 2010 from 1:00 – 3:00pm
Get DIS Party Started
Revesby Workers Club, 2B Brett St,
Revesby NSW 2212

The Wharf Open Day
Sunday 5 December 2010
Pier 4, Hickson Rd Walsh Bay NSW 2000

Bookings essential: RSVP, Free call 1800 893 044 or email
For more information, visit

Source:  IDEAS E-news #11 2010

A beautiful image ....

One of our staff was recently in Paris, and photographed this sculpture at the Rodin Museum.  The standing child bears a close resemblance to a child with Down syndrome.  Just beautiful.

We haven't been able to find any documentation on the work, but if you happen to be in Paris, perhaps you could let us know what you think?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Down Syndrome NSW Board, 2010 - 2011

31st Annual General Meeting of Down Syndrome Association of NSW Inc (Down Syndrome NSW) was held on Wednesday 17th November 2010.
A new Board was elected:

President: Chris Pollock
Secretary: Ken Hancock
Board members:
Ruth Cromer (UP! Club President)
Candy Connors
Maha Daizli
Brad Dewhurst
Hannah Edwards
Perry Gilsenan
Sarah Harvey
Rod Kelly
Joe Lawler
Jackie Little
David Ross

Biographical notes provided by Board members, and the 2009 - 2010 Annual Report are available here

Parent survey about receiving diagnosis

A communication student from San Francisco State University is conducting research on "what type of communication produces the most satisfaction when a health care provider delivers the diagnosis of Down syndrome to parents."
If you are a parent or guardian of a child with Down syndrome and are over 18 years old, you are invited to participate in this study. It consists of taking a survey, which will take approximately 20 minutes, that asks parents to answer questions regarding the communication behaviours used during the initial diagnosis to see what types of communication are the most satisfying.
To take the survey go here.
If you have any questions contact Holly Logan at or

Library Thursdays: Thanks to Edme Steirn

Edme Steirn has been a long time volunteer to Down Syndrome NSW. She has been here longer than most of the staff and works diligently and with humour at whatever varied tasks she has been asked to do. She has been an invaluable help to the library and last night at the Anniversary dinner she was recognised with an award for all her contributions in her 10 years of service.
She covers books, prepares mailings, files and shelves resources, photocopies, stamps and makes sure that all the new parent kits are up to date with inserts and in plentiful supply. Her knowledge of several languages also comes in handy at times. Edme is a quiet achiever but has plenty of stories which keep us all working happily. She has an amazing committment to the Association no matter what is happening in the rest of her life and we love and appreciate her. Thanks, Edme!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Audrey O'Connor: fashion model

Catch up with Audrey O'Connor, Don't DIS my ABILITY ambassador, actor and now fashion model, here.  She has a new movie role coming up too .....

Annual General Meeting: Board candidates; statements

A final reminder .....

The 31st Annual General Meeting of Down Syndrome NSW will be held today:

5.00 pm, Wednesday 17th November 2010
at the Waratah Room, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney

All of the papers related to the meeting AGM papers are available here.
A new Board will be elected at the meeting - candidate statements are available to read here.
The 2009 - 2010 Annual Report is available to download here.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Research participants invited: University of NSW

Are you interested in helping us learn more about memory development in preschoolers with Down syndrome?

We are currently looking for participants aged 3-5 years old with Down syndrome for a study at the University of New South Wales. The study would involve your child playing a series of memory games with pictures and toys. Your child will also participate in a standardized task to measure cognitive and communication skills.
The study is on-campus and $20 petrol costs and paid-parking will be reimbursed. Your child will also get to choose a small toy to take home at the end of the session.
If you’re interested in further information or would like to participate, please contact Lynette Roberts on 0405 721 076 or at 

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Dream Cricket Day

The inaugural Dream Cricket Day at Bradman Oval last Friday, 29 October, gave children with disabilities the opportunity to play a game of cricket on the historic Bowral ground.

The day saw more than 80 children from the Southern Highlands, Penrith, Goulburn and Queanbeyan given the chance of a lifetime. They were also inspired by World Down Syndrome Swimming Champion Daniel Rumsey, who tossed the coin to start the matches and presented medals to the winners at the end of the day. Daniel won 14 gold medals and broke 13 world records at the event in Taiwan in October. 

Photos here.

The Kookaburra men’s hockey team striker Glenn Turner also met the children and presented medals to the winners at the end of the day.

The children also visited the neighbouring Bradman Museum. The day was intended to promote their health, wellbeing and interest in cricket.

The Dream Cricket Day is an initiative of The Movement Disorder Foundation conducted by The Rotary Clubs of Berrima, Bowral-Mittagong and Moss Vale with the support from the Bradman Foundation, the Cerebral Foundation, Northcott Disability Services and many generous sponsors.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Library Thursdays: The Power to Spring Up

The Power to Spring Up: Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Significant Disabilities by Diana M. Katovitch (Woodbine House, 2009) looks at continuing education past high school for people with disabilities that include Down syndrome. It discusses the benefits for the people with disabilities as well as society to having educational opportunities after students leave high school. The book looks at the various types of programs in the United States and Canada. The needs of the student and questions to ask to determine the best program are covered. Specific programs in existence in the United States are detailed to give an idea of what is available, but it is explained that more programs are being created all the time.
There is advice for students to help them decide what may be right for them, advice to secondary school teachers for preparing students with the skills they will need and advice to the parents to help their child succeed, much of which centers on "letting go" and building independence. Funding is also looked at.
Although the book is not specific to Down syndrome, it is relevant to those who are interested in continuing education of any kind after high school. Some of the advice could be of use to any student with or without a disability moving away from parents. There are good references and recommended reading and also a list of resources but the resources are probably more useful to Americans.
I think it is a good companion to the Down syndrome transition handbook by Jo Ann Simons (reviewed here) for students about to finish high school and their families who are ready to think about options for the future. Keep an eye out for an article by Patricia O'Brien in the next (December) issue of Voice about a tertiary program at Trinity College in Dublin and the postsecondary education in Australia.
If you'd like to borrow The power to spring up or anything else in the library, just call or email.

ACT reading workshops postponed

The ACTDSA/Macquarie University early reading workshops scheduled to be held in Canberra this weekend have had to be postponed.   It is anticipated that they will be re-scheduled for early 2011.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Online Arts Worker Directory

The Artist Directory is for arts, disability and community organisations that wish to employ independent arts workers, listed in arts categories:
• Dance
• Music
• Theatre
• Visual Arts
• Film and Media Arts

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

New health services, south western Sydney and Southern highlands.

This post on The Scene has information about two newly established health care teams for people with disabilities in the Sydney South West and Southern Highlands areas.

Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register

The Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register is sponsored by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, in partnership with Guide Dogs, Vision Australia, other low vision service providers, children with vision impairment and their families.
The Register is the first of its kind in Australia, and is capturing uniquely Australian data which will be used to improve services for children with vision impairment. The data is also available to researchers who work in the area of eye disease and disorders of vision
If you are a child or a parent or guardian of a child with a vision impairment, between the ages of 0-18 years, you are invited to join the Australian Childhood Vision Impairment Register. Once a child has joined they will be offered membership to Oz-VisKids - a free club for children and parents to learn more about vision impairment and the services offered in Australia.
Some children with Down syndrome are already registered and anyone that it can potentially help is invited.
More information and online registrations is available here. Send an email to Jill Watson  or call (02) 9872 0303 for more details.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Inclusive research workshops - for people with intellectual disability

The Centre for Disability Studies, the University of Sydney, in conjunction with the Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability (ASID NSW) is presenting a series of 3 workshops in which people with intellectual disabilities and their supporters can learn how to plan and direct inclusive research into matters that interest and concern them.

By taking part in the 3 workshops (6 December 2010, 28th January 2011 and 18th March 2011), in Sydney (Ryde) you will see your research happening.

You’ll also get the chance to share what you’ve done at a mini conference day towards the end of 2011.

These workshops are ‘hands on’, enjoyable and empowering!

For a comprehensive brochure in Easy English, contact CDS: (02) 8878 0500 or email:

Tweed Heads Workshops - 18th November, for parents and for professionals

Down Syndrome NSW and Tweed Valley ECIS
Judy Davidson, Parent Support Manager, Down Syndrome NSW, will be presenting two workshops in Tweed Heads on

18th November 2010

9.30 am -12 noon
Preparing for school – issues and information for parents

1.00 pm -3.00 pm
Early Childhood Update - for professionals working with a child with Down syndrome aged 0 - 6 yrs

Tweed Valley Early Childhood Intervention Service,
Florence Street, Tweed Heads
Phone 07 5506 7558 to book a place.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Minister salutes people with Down syndrome and their families

NSW Minister for Disability Services and Volunteering, Peter Primrose, accepted our invitation to cut the ribbon and lead-off Buddy Walk Sydney on Oct 24th. He came along despite the very inclement weather, and was impressed by the numbers of people who decided to brave it in the name of honouring the people with Down syndrome they love.  Not only did he meet lots of people with Down syndrome of all ages, and speak with families and the many volunteers (readily identifiable in their cheery yellow shirts), but he also pledged an $8,000 donation to the Buddy Walk fund-raising appeal - an unexpected and very welcome boost. Thank you, Minister.

Peita Lind assists the Minsiter in cutting the ribbon ....

... and we're off, through The Rocks and across The Bridge.

Thanks to Craig Peihopa for his wonderful photos of the event - you'll see some more in our quartlerly print publications in December.

Scrapheap Adventure Ride 2011: it's on!

Those mad keen Scrapheap Adventurers are at it again - they are gearing up for the 2011 ride, to Cameron Corner*, 23rd April 2011. The first registration is in - many more will follow. See what they're up to, and how you can join in here.

This event is a great adventure, a great way to see outback NSW, and the first Adventure in 2010 raised $20,000 for Down Syndrome NSW - what a combination!

* that spot in the outback where the NSW, South Australian and Queensland borders meet

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Correction: My Time Playgroup, Narellan/Camden

We managed to get both the date and the venue wrong for My Time Camden/Narellan Playgroup in the Down Syndrome NSW Update, November 2010.

Our aplogies to Kelly Charlton, and anyone who has been confused! The corrct information for the November event is:

A Special Event

Bring the kids along to the MY TIME playgroup at Narellan and have a dance and learn a new groove with Tara Grech from “Everyone can dance”
WHEN:  Friday - 19th November

TIME:  9:00 am to 11:30 am

WHERE:  Narellan Community Centre, Queen St, Narellan, next to Narellan Town Centre

Please bring a plate of food for morning tea.

Phone 1800 889 997

Library Thursdays: Oral Motor Therapy

Due to low muscle tone, children with Down syndrome often have problems with feeding and speech which many feel can be helped with oral motor exercises. A speech therapist can help with this plus there are many resources dealing with this on the web. These sites either touch on the theory behind the therapy, suggested exercises or accessories to help.

The library also has a book, Mouth Madness: Oral Motor activities for Children by Catherine Orr, with various exercises.

These are some of the more notable sites:
Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson has done much work on oral-motor issues and her website and blog have information and links to her articles and resources to buy for her program.
Resource guide to oral-motor skill difficulties in children with Down syndrome by Libby Kumin [The library also has many other resources from Kumin--Communication skills in children with Down syndrome, Helping children with Down syndrome communicate better and a couple of DVDs.]

Therapy Toy Shop has products for oral motor therapy.

Many of these activities involve blowing games and activities which will also help with draining fluid in the ears and are fun activities.
If you'd like to borrow Mouth Madness or anything else from the library, just email or call.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Down Syndrome NSW e-Update November 2010 just published

The November 2010 issue of Down Syndrome NSW e-Update has just been published here.

The Update is a monthly listing of information and events relevant to the interests of people with Down syndrome, their families and carers.

You can subscribe to receive it by email either through our website:
or DS NSW members can email Angela at and ask to have your Mailing Preference for the Update set to "email".  Email subscription ensures that you receive the very latest information, you receive less paper, and we save on disribution costs. Thank you for your support.

Back issues of the DS NSW e-Update can be accessed here.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Community College courses to be offered to people with a disability

People with a disability are to have the opportunity to attend community college classes tailored to their needs and interests to help them expand their recreational and social activities, and also to give their carers a break.

The Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said the NSW Government has allocated more than $1.28 million so that four community colleges across the State can offer the tailored courses, to provide people with the opportunity to interact with their peers and build social networks.
"The two year Inclusive Community Education Program pilot will also give carers of those attending the classes a break by providing them with regular planned and reliable respite."
Mr Primrose said that a wide range of recreational and leisure classes would be offered after the skills and interests of the applicants were determined."For instance, courses could include sports, music and crafts and other skills such as cooking."
Mr Primrose said that the courses would be aimed at people with a disability who were aged between 18 and 45, had an unpaid carer and who were living in the community.
"There will be no charge for the courses, but there could be a small fee for materials, such as ingredients used in cooking classes."
Mr Primrose said that the Central Coast Community College operating in the Gosford and Wyong Local Government Areas (LGAs) started classes in August while three other Community Colleges would start offering courses soon.He said that an estimated 50,000 hours of classes would be delivered in the two year pilot and that up to 376 students would be given the chance to take part.
People interested in taking part in the classes can apply direct to their local college or through regional offices of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC).
The three other colleges to take part in the program are:
  • Sydney Community College, covering Sydney's inner west and eastern suburbs;
  • Kiama Community College covering Kiama, Shellharbour and Shoalhaven LGAs;
  • Riverina Community College, covering Leeton, Narrandera and Temora LGAs.
Media release: 27/10/2010, NSW Minister for Disability Services

11th World Down Syndrome Congress: 2012 South Africa

is proud to announce the
to take place in
15th – 18th August 2012
at the
Cape Town International Congress Centre.
The theme for this congress is the BIG FIVE. Being RIGHTS, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL AND HEALTH with sub themes focusing on the UN Convention Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
There will be a Pre-congress Synod for young adults with Down Syndrome on the 14th August. The main congress will be held over 3 days 15th – 17th August and will feature international key note speakers presenting the latest up to date information. There will be a one day post congress workshops on the 18th. These workshops will focus on Early Intervention, Education and Employment.
The first call for papers has just been released on the 11WDSC website.
Put these dates in your diary .... nothing like planning ahead!
For pamphlets to be email or posted directly to you please contact Roxanne at  or phone 0861-369-672
Congress website:

Monday, 1 November 2010

But wait - there's more!

Jumped the gun a bit in declaring Buddy Walk 2010 finished - the place to be this weekend is Cobar, in Western NSW!

Buddy Walk – Cobar
Sunday 7th November

Please assemble at car park of the Cobar District Hospital, Lerida Rd Cobar, near the start of the Lerida Road Walking Track. The Walk will be followed by a BBQ and get together in the near-by nature reserve. All welcome.

A great finish in Wollongong

The weather defied predictions yesterday to provide glorious dry sunshine for Buddy Walk Wollongong - a lovely day between the mountains and the sea.  A very good finish to Buddy Walk "season" in NSW after some disappointment with the wettest October in recent memory.

Thank you to everyone who supported Buddy Walk across NSW in every way- organising, attending, fundraising, sponsoring, volunteering, spreading the word.  It's been a great month!