Address details

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

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Buddy Walk 2012 Newcastle: was there dancing?

Yes, there was! And music, and singing, and play ... thanks to MC Steve Passfield for coordinating the entertainment on the day, and for your wonderful music.

Steve Passfield - singer, songwriter, musician and MC
Drawing the raffle prizes

The WaltzSing Matildas

The WaltzSing Matildas

Marissa Matthews

Active Dance
Active Dance

Caroline Earle
Hunter School of the performing Arts Marching Band
Jay from Little Kickers volunteered his time to keep the younger kids busy and active 

Ross and Steve

See you next year!

Information event about the NDIS in the Hunter

Mind the Gap Disability Matters; Resourcing Families and In Control Australia present:

A one day event for people with disability, their families, friends and allies, service providers and other interested people, about the National Disability Insurance Scheme, due to launch in the Hunter region in 2013.

Saturday 24 November 2012
Panthers, Newcastle

Who would benefit from attending?
  • People with disability, families, friends and allies interested in emerging opportunities
  • Service providers interested in assisting people with disability to build the lives they want
  • Anyone interested to know more about the NDIS as it begins in the Hunter
Further information:

Families accommodation action group: $3M NSW Government funding

Minister for Disability Services, Andrew Constance, has announced $3 million in capital funding to St George Community Housing for the innovative Sutherland Shire Disability Accommodation Action Group (SSDAAG) pilot project.
"This project is an excellent example of how families, non-government organisations and government can all work together to get the best outcomes for people with disability," Mr Constance said.
"This capital funding grant will go towards providing accommodation options for people with disability in the Sutherland Shire."
Since June 2011, the NSW Government has been working with representatives from SSDAAG and non-government providers in the Sutherland Shire to trial person-centred approaches to planning and budgeting for 18 identified families. Under the project, individualised packages can be pooled to establish a sustainable accommodation setting of families' choosing.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Better Start Initiative extended from January 2013

While all children with Down syndrome already qualify for funding under the Better Start Initiative, it could be useful for families to know that the Initiative has now been extended to a wider range of disability groups than those previously qualified.  Most families get to know others whose children will have different 'labels', and you might be able to pass the link on to them.

... The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas, today announced a $13.4 million boost over five years to expand the Better Start initiative.
The Government’s investment means that from 1 January 2013, children diagnosed with Prader Willi, Williams, Angelman, Kabuki Make Up, Smith-Magenis, CHARGE, Cornelia de Lange, Cri du Chat syndromes and microcephaly can access Better Start funding for the first time ...

NEW swimming program for people with disabilities in the Inner West

Open to people of all ages/ abilities.
LEARN to SWIM and STROKE CORRECTION (Squad) programs available. 
Wheelchair Accessible. 

Enfield Aquatic Centre, Portland Street, Enfield 

THURSDAYS 6pm - 7pm 
From November 8th to December 13th
and resuming 31st January 2013

Cost: $7 plus pool entry (Carers Admitted free of charge)
Bring: Swimmers, Goggles and Towel

To register or for more information contact Recreation, Sports and Aquatic Club (RSAC)
Phone: 9790 5001 or email

Monday, 29 October 2012

International Down Syndrome Swimming Championships: italy, November

The 6th  International and World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships will be held  from 15th_ 23rd November, 2012 in Loano, Italy. Twenty one nations will compete. The 23 member Team Australia includes four NSW swimmers:

  • Lucy Dumitrescu
  • Daniel Rumsey
  • Brendan Foley
  • James Lawrence
and a coaching and support staff of eight.

Daniel, Brendan and Lucy have all represented Australia at previous championships, and have brought home many members. The 6th is James's first World Championship.  Congratulations to you all on your selection and preparation.

Daniel Rumsey, Brendan Foley, Lucy Dumitrescu  and James Lawrence 
at a recent training camp in Noosa, Qld. 
Photo: Sarah Harvey
You can send a herogram to the team and/or individual members, to show your support.

They will leave Australia on 11th November, to compete in Italy. Our very best wishes go with them.

Siblings Australia workshops: Coffs Harbour, next week

Workshops may also be held in Port Macquarie depending on interest. Contact Siblings Australia for details.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Buddy Walk 2012 Wagga Wagga: the kids had fun!

Sophie's Choice is Wagga -  Prime 7 News promo
for Buddy Walk 2012 Wagga Wagga, starring Sophie Way!

Thank you Narelle Bugg for the fabulous photos.

Buddy Walk 2012 Newcastle: a great day!

If you are planning a Buddy Walk, and there are beaches and a beautiful harbour foreshore available, where would you have it? The Newcastle venue is spectacular. Leigh Creighton cut the ribbon, and off went more than seven hundred walkers.

 Paul won a whole new lot of fans with his determination to complete the walk, 
with his cousin Carol, who has been his carer for 10 years. 
Here they are at the finish line.

Jennine TaylorMeaghan Hepplewhite, and Candy Connors organised  the event - congratulations!

Thank you Jennine Taylor for your photos.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Weekend reading and viewing 27th - 28th October

My child with Down syndrome is not a gift from God, Hallie Levine Sklar, published by To The Max, for (US) Down Syndrome Month, October 2012 ' ...  painting kids with Down Syndrome as innocent little angels has the potential to be dangerous, or at least to do them a disservice. It refuses to acknowledge that kids with Down Syndrome are actually human beings with issues and concerns of their very own.'  

Man with Down's syndrome achieves ambition to elected as parish councillor in Nuthal, Nottingham Post (UK), 25th October 2012. Interestingly, this article was initially headed 'Down's syndrome sufferer elected ...', but the headline was quickly changed when a number of readers pointed out that 'suffering' was inappropriate, especially for such a positive report!

Advocates find party isn't their cup of teaDaniella Miletic, Sydney Morning Herald, 23rd October 2012 Are Australian disability advocates 'too polite'?

Child removals from intellectually disabled parents 'inhumane', Emma Renwick, ABC News online, 23rd October 2012.  While very few people with Down syndrome have children of their own, it is certainly not unknown - this is a confronting and complex issue with no easy answers.

Duty of care pays off with Down Syndrome. Inner West Courier, 15th October 2012.  Last week was Carers Week, as well as Down Syndrome Awareness Week - this local news story tells 'two in one.'

Helen Sanderson Associates - Reading Room: this web page provides a rich list of reading and other resources about person-centred planning and people with intellectual disability (called learning disability in the UK). Several of the examples feature people with Down syndrome. There is a great deal of useful information throughout this website.

Tiny Dancer, a short video on a well-thought out dance class for children with Down syndrome run by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in Colorado - a very high cute factor here. Physical therapist and writer Pat Winders appears.

Tiny Dancer from 5280 on Vimeo.

Photo album from Special Olympics Australia's DisAbilitea at Homebush, 26th October - athletes spoke about the support they need from an NDIS, including several with Down syndrome. They made it personal by holding placards giving their own names to support the campaign for the NDIS.

Friday, 26 October 2012

In his own words ...

US commentator Ann Coulter's recent offensive tweet and John Franklin Stephens's gracious response have spread widely within the online Down syndrome Community.


Read John Franklin Stephen's open letter to Ann Coulter on The World of Special Olympics blog.

Buddy Walk 2012 Wagga Wagga: more photos

Some of our fantastic volunteers - thank you all!

Alex Watters and his family

Andy Bugg and his brother Lachie both volunteered

The Kat Fisher dancers performed ...

... and might have a new recruit.