October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
We are here to support, provide resources, and offer programming for you and your family throughout every stage of life. Everyone’s journey looks different, and that is part of what makes our Down syndrome community so unique and wonderful.
We realize there may be struggles, uncertainties and adversity caring for a loved one with Down syndrome. However, as we all know, there is also so much to celebrate! Celebrating can renew our energy, encourage others, and create a fresh outlook of possibilities for the future.
During the month of October (Down Syndrome Awareness Month), we want to celebrate your loved one’s milestones! Whether that milestone is walking independently, eating a new food, landing a dream job, making a new friend, using a communication device, smiling at a neighbor, joining a school team, etc., we want to hear about it!
If it is important to you and your family – it is important to us!
We’d love to share these important moments on our social media pages to spread awareness on a larger platform that there is value in EVERY person and EACH milestone is worth celebrating!
If you feel comfortable sharing, please email KrissyV@dsagc.com your story and a photo to accompany it. Thank you for helping to spread awareness and celebrate the extraordinary people with Down syndrome in our community.
Upcoming Programs and Events
Our programs focus on therapeutic, recreational, educational, and social opportunities for all ages and stages. We tailor our offerings to reflect the need of our local families as we strive to provide valuable support and quality programs for those in our community.
Empowerment Series typically occur once a week for 3 – 5 weeks. The classes build upon each other and are designed to empower individuals with Down syndrome to try a new activity or learn a new skill.
- Tiny Tots Gymnastics (ages 3 - 5)
- Soccer Shots (ages 6 - 12; 13 - 17)
- Martial Arts (ages 12 - 17)
- Theatre Program (ages 18+)
- Self-Defense (ages 18+)
- Leisure Exploration (ages 18 - 34)
- Lifelong Learning Labs (ages 22+)
- Movement & Motivation (ages 30+)
Enrichment Classes focus on increasing knowledge about a particular topic or enhancing a specific skill. These classes are different from our Empowerment Series because there is only one class to attend rather than a "series" of classes.
- IEP 101 (parents of 0 - 5)
- Play with the Pros (ages 0 - 17)
- Listen and Create (ages 6 - 12)
- Meet the Chef (ages 13 & up)
- Kindness Krew (ages 18+)
- Adaptive Cooking (ages 25+)
- IEP Advocacy (en Español)
- Town Hall Meeting (ages 18+)
- Adult Wellness Fair (ages 18+)
- Virtual Cooking (all ages)
- Virtual Baking (all ages)
- Virtual Bingo (all ages)
Social Opportunities include various learning components, but focus heavily on social networking and building relationships.
- Rise & Shine - New Family Welcome
- Early Matters Weekly Playgroup
- Donuts & Mural Visit (ages 0 - 5)
- Jack-O-Latern Walk (ages 0 - 5)
- Moms Night Out (moms of 0 - 5)
- Parents Night Out (parents only)
- Sibling Social (ages 4 - 17)
- USA Ninja Social (ages 6 - 17)
- School-Age Halloween Party
- Teen Club Halloween Party
- Adult Halloween Party (ages 18+)
- Singles Mixer (ages 18+)
- Reds Hall of Fame Tour (18+)
- Football Watch Party (ages 18+)
- Art and Apps (ages 18+)
- Movie Night (ages 18+)
- Dessert & Dialouge (ages 18 - 34)
- Game Night (ages 25+)
- TRUNK-OR-TREAT (all ages)
- Respite Care (all ages)
We’d love for you to be a part of our DSAGC Cheerleading program! Our cheer squad is open to anyone in grades K – 12. Each cheerleader receives a uniform and pompoms. Our squads have practices in November and then we will have dozens of opportunities to perform throughout winter. Cheerleaders are required to attend practices, but not required to attend every performance. We have multiple performances, so families can attend ones that fit their schedules best.
Typically, we perform at halftime of high school basketball games alongside the high school cheerleading squad. However, we’ve also performed at colleges, minor league baseball games, talent shows, and more! We’ve even partnered with the Cincinnati Ben-Gals for a special night. The dates and times of these performances will be released by the coaches after practices (as this takes a lot of time to coordinate each year). We try to schedule performances in the schools / districts / neighborhoods of our cheerleaders. Be sure to fill out that section of the registration, so we can try to work with your school’s athletic department!
Our Cheerleading program continues to grow each year – we have over 50 cheerleaders! It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of a team while promoting positive awareness in the community!
Coached by Missy Trame and Gayle Trame
October 30 (6 – 7 pm) Lakeside Christian Church – Lakeside Park
November 5 (2 – 3 pm) Hickory Grove Baptist Church – Independence
November 12 (2 – 3 pm) Hickory Grove Baptist Church – Independence
November 20 (6 – 7 pm) Lakeside Christian Church – Lakeside Park
Coached by Debbie Schroeder and Joanie Elfers
November 6 (6 – 8 pm) Springdale Nazarene Church
November 13 (6 – 8 pm) Springdale Nazarene Church
November 20 (6 – 8 pm) Springdale Nazarene Church
Our internship program provides a healthy learning environment for adults with Down syndrome as they learn transferrable skills for future employment in the community. All internships are paid, and interns will be a part of the DSAGC staff during their term.
T.E.L.L stands for Teaching Engagement and Lifelong Language. This program is for adults with Down syndrome and focuses on enhancing communication by providing useful, beneficial, and individualized support for each participant. The goal is to increase individual progress to effectively communicate wants and needs. The class is led by University of Cincinnati Speech-Language Pathology graduate students under the supervision of licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Kendra Thornock.
The T.E.L.L. program is 10-weeks long with sessions building upon each other. Our Speech-Language Pathologist and graduate students will meet with each participant and a caregiver ahead of time to identify needs and set personalized goals. We offer the T.E.L.L. program twice a year – in the fall and spring.
**Due to high demand, registration will be a lottery draw. Priority will be given to participants that have not yet participated in the T.E.L.L. program. The lottery draw will be held September 8. You will be refunded if you are not chosen through the lottery draw.
Dates: Mondays (September 25 - December 4)
Time: There are two session times that will be determined after the lottery draw.
(5 – 6 pm and 6:30 – 7:30 pm)
Location: DSAGC Empowerment Center – 4623 Wesley Ave Suite B, Cincinnati OH, 45212
Registration for the fall session of the T.E.L.L. Program is now closed.
Find Your Way is a new collection of programs focusing on self-determination in adults with Down syndrome. These programs will be geared towards increasing personal independence by putting a strong focus on individual goals and progress tracking.
IGNITE – one-day event for those who are beginning to make self-determination a focus.
ACCELERATE – overnight weekend retreat for those who are comfortable staying overnight and interested in learning skills to help them live a self-determined life.
NAVIGATE – overnight weekend retreat for those who are comfortable staying overnight and considering moving out or living more independently within the next year.
CRUISE – various classes for those who are currently living independently.
At the beginning of each year, we open enrollment for the “Find Your Way” program. Families who choose to enroll will meet with our adult coordinators for a “consultation”. Individuals with Down syndrome, parents/caregivers, and our adult coordinators will work together to determine which of the four programs would be most beneficial for the coming year. Registration will be separate from the quarterly program registration.
Saturday, October 21
Photography Day is an opportunity for DSAGC families of all ages to get pictures taken by a professional photographer in a comfortable setting. Families receive all the photos digitally at no cost. Space is limited and fills on a first-come, first-serve basis.
registration will open October 4th at 7 pm
Saturday, December 9
Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center is a one-of-a-kind, multi-museum complex housed in Union Terminal, a historic Art Deco train station and National Historic Landmark. During the holiday party, your family will have access to the entire museum including the Children’s Museum. There will be an area for DSAGC families to meet privately with Santa, enjoy treats, and pick up their holiday gift!
Registration for the Giving Tree program will open October 4th.
The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati supports families through a variety of life circumstances. The Giving Tree program is a way to offer support for families who may need a helping hand during the holiday season. Generous sponsors provide items from wish lists provided by the families in need to ensure children have special gifts to open.
If you are a family in the local Down syndrome community and need assistance this holiday season, please consider registering for the Giving Tree program. All children in a family unit (18 years old and younger) and adults with Down syndrome are eligible to receive gifts from sponsors valued at $50 - $60 per person (no electronics or bicycles, please). You will have the opportunity to share gift suggestions and clothing sizes for your child(ren). Eligible families must have a child or adult with Down syndrome and live in the DSAGC twelve-county area. Please note, your information will be kept confidential and only seen by the Giving Tree committee. Your gifts will be available for pick up at the DSAGC Office in early to mid-December. Registration closes before Thanksgiving. If you are looking for assistance after Thanksgiving, please contact Maggie Ranz at MaggieR@dsagc.com or 513-761-5400.
Our generous sponsors are the backbone of the giving tree program. We rely on sponsors to make sure families who may need a helping hand can have a special holiday season with their loved ones. As a sponsor, you can select how many children you’d like to sponsor. The suggested gift range is $50-$60 per child. Sponsors can drop off gifts at the DSAGC Office (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio 45212) any time. After signing up to be a sponsor, you will receive a confirmation email along with more information and wish lists from our Giving Tree committee within 3 - 5 days.
In 2022, the Giving Tree program provided gifts for 71 families totaling 216 children. Each family also received a book and a gift card to purchase food.
November 9 - November 11
We are excited to partner with the National Down Syndrome Society for their annual Adult Summit this year! Hundreds from across the country will be coming to Cincinnati for three days of connection and educational sessions on a variety of topics that address adulthood and aging for the community.
The NDSS Adult Summit covers aging and Down syndrome through a whole-person, comprehensive approach. Content will overlap ages and subject areas, providing attendees with information and practical resources. This conference is a great educational opportunity for individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities, family members, and professionals.
Separate interactive breakout session tracks for adults with Down syndrome and caregivers/professionals will be available throughout the weekend.
Use code "DSAGC" for a 30% discount.
Community Groups provide support, information, and be a resource while creating a warm, welcoming, empathetic environment. We have a wide variety of groups by area and interest.
Social Clubs meet monthly and serve as an opportunity for our adults with Down syndrome to take a leadership role in planning and implementing their own social activities.
Our Teen Club is designed for teens to meet monthly for additional social and learning opportunities.
DS/ASD Support Group
In an effort to support families with loved ones who have or who suspect to have a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (ASD), the DSAGC offers a support group for parents and caregivers. The goal of this group is to connect families to help support one another by talking through challenges and successes while guided by a qualified group facilitator. Participants can benefit from the facilitator’s knowledge of strategies to help in extra stressful situations. They can encourage each other as caregivers and can share and learn firsthand about resources to help in the many stages of this journey.
Transportation Assistance Fund
The DSAGC understands that some members in our community face challenges getting to and from important activities and appointments. To help, we established the Transportation Assistance Fund (TAF). The TAF provides financial assistance to parents or caregivers so they can obtain dependable and convenient transportation to DSAGC programs and events, or medical and therapy appointments for their loved one with Down syndrome.
transportation assistance fund application in english
transportation assistance fund application in spanish
Hospital Care Packages
We deliver care packages to individuals with Down syndrome who are admitted to the hospital. Our care packages include meal tickets, snacks, cards, activities, books, and more.
Community Participation Fund
We have a limited amount of scholarships available for individuals with Down syndrome to participate in community activities (such as camps, soccer, swim lessons) and therapies. There is also funding available for parents to attend educational meetings or conferences. We pay half of the request (up to $250 per year). You must live within our 12 county area to be eligible.
Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A | Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
513-761-5400 | email@example.com