Exciting New Youth & Adult Programming

After 19 years, the Down Syndrome Association has decided that we need to change up the Youth & Adult conference a bit. The first big change will be that we are moving the conference date to September 2015. Spring time is just packed with too many fun sports, proms, graduations and weddings!

The second big change, that we are very excited about, is that the conference will now launch a monthly teen and adult workshop series. Each workshop will be one to two hours, depending on the topic. The fall series will be all about relationships – coworkers, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, marriage and an age specific workshop on understanding sexuality. The winter quarter will cover health topics such as exercise and nutrition. In the spring we will cover Independent Living topics like first aid and transportation.

We are also pairing the workshops for teens and adults with related topics for parents and caregivers

As always, we would love to hear any feedback or ideas you might have to share with us about this exciting new venture or would like to serve on the planning committee! Please email Catherine at catherine@dsamn.org or call (651) 603-0720

Help Us Pass the ABLE Bill Today!

DSAM Members and Friends:

We received this call to action this morning from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). We hope that you will join us in contacting your state legislators and urge them to support the ABLE bill in Minnesota.

Thank you!



Minnesota Advocates:

As you know, President Obama signed the ABLE – Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act into law in December. The ABLE Act allows families to save for the future expenses for their children with disabilities in a tax free savings account and also allows individuals with disabilities to have more than $2,000 in assets without endangering their benefits and services like Medicaid and Social Security Income.

Now, each state must pass its own ABLE bill in order for ABLE accounts to become available to the residents of that state.  Join the National Down Syndrome Society  with other disability groups TODAY for a nationwide ABLE ADVOCACY DAY!

Please take a few minutes today to contact your legislators to urge them to support the Minnesota ABLE bill, and ask other advocates to do the same.  Talking points and email template provided through the link.

Minnesota ABLE Advocacy Day Templates (.docx) (.pdf)

Just as the disability community banded together to get the federal ABLE bill passed, we need all hands on deck in the states for the success of the state ABLE bills.

Thank you for all you do!

Ginny Sessions
Manager, Grassroots and Development Programs
National Down Syndrome Society

Boys sledding

Submit photo for the 2016 calendar

2015 calendar cover

We are now accepting photos for the 2016 calendar. Head on over to our calendar page to submit your photo today! We also have 2015 calendars remaining! Remember, we only have 12 months of the year, but we do often need photos for other publications, so if your submission isn’t used for the calendar, it may pop up in other places! (Provided you have given us permission, of course!)

Workshop: Positive Behavior Supports & Strategies – January 13th

Wendy Selnes

Positive Behavior Supports and Strategies
Parent Group Event
FREE Community Event
Presented by Wendy Selnes, Brih Design

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Sabes JCC
4330 Cedar Lake Road
Minneapolis, MN  55416

Have you ever been puzzled by the recurring behavior of a child or student?  Befuddled as to what a child is trying to communicate with his/her behavior? Tried everything that you can think of to positively support your child’s behavior and out of ideas? Then come with your questions to gain wisdom from Wendy Selnes.  The evening session will include a behavior strategy discussion covering the most important strategies to support behavior and behavior change in the classroom or at home. The second portion of the evening will focus on specific questions from the audience that Wendy will address possible reasons and potential solutions.

Wendy Selnes is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  She holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Child Psychology.  Wendy has over 20 years of experience in the field of human services. She is designated as a QMRP and fulfills the qualifications of a Mental Health Professional.  She is a Partner and Senior Behavior Analyst with Brih Design, a consulting firm which offers support and services to people who exhibit difficult to manage behaviors.

“People don’t have challenging behaviors, they have functional behaviors that challenge us.” – Brih Design

Reservations are required. Please use form below.  Childcare is available. Voluntary donations are appreciated. Questions? Contact Mary at Mary@dsamn.org or (651) 603-0720

Download event flyer by clicking here: Wendy Selnes Event January 2015 (.pdf)


Number Attending (required)

Guest #1 Last, First Name (required)

Guest #2 Last, First Name

Guest #3 Last, First Name

Guest #4 Last, First Name

Your Email (required)

Childcare is now full. Please contact Mary@dsamn.org if you have an urgent need

Please tell us if you need any accommodations to participate in the training e.g. dietary restrictions, accessibility etc. Please be specific in your response (leave blank if no accommodation is requested)

I would like to be added to your email mailing list

Event Sponsors

Brih design




Give to the Max today!

Give to the Max is today!

We just wanted to post a quick reminder that tomorrow is the big day! Give to the Max! We hope that you will consider donating to DSAM tomorrow!

Metro Transit riders: You can ride home for free tomorrow! Read more here: http://blog.givemn.org/2014/11/give-on-the-go-ride-home-for-free/ 

Make Multiple Donations: We know that you want to make your entire donation just to DSAM tomorrow, but if you would like to support multiple organizations, you can. Read more here: http://blog.givemn.org/2014/10/get-ready-for-give-to-the-max-day-2014/ 

Golden Tickets: GiveMN is offering the Golden Ticket incentive again. Every hour, a donation is chosen and that charity will receive an additional $2,000. Making a donation every hour increases your chance of winning a Golden Ticket for your charity of choice.

And a big thank you to everyone who has already made a donation to our GiveMN page!

Visit http://bit.ly/giveMNDSAM to make a donation today. Alternatively, you don’t even need to leave this page! Donate using the form below and you can share it on your social media pages!

Come join us for our Annual Pancake Breakfast!


Enjoy all you can eat pancakes, sausage, fruit, juice, coffee and topping bar. Visit with friends and enjoy a lovely morning out.

Date: 11/02/2014

Time: 9am to Noon
Cost: $7.00/adult, $3.00/child
Want to volunteer? We need lots of help that day; cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, selling tickets, etc. To volunteer email Teisha@dsamn.org or go directly to: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d4eacaa283-dsam2
We hope to see you on November 2nd!

Help support the DSAM self advocates in their community service projects

Lori, Nayef and Mack: We're More Alike Than Different

For years now our self advocates have held a community project at the Walk.  What began years ago as a food drive to stock local food shelves has now become a Food Drive, a Sock Drive and this year we have added Fiona’s Hope Totes to our donation ask.


Last year, the self advocates made the decision to donate the food collected at the Step Up Walk to the local Ronald McDonald House.  A lot of our families often find themselves staying at the house while their children are hospitalized at local hospitals.  Since the food drive was begun 7 years ago, the self advocates have collected well over 750 lbs of food.


The sock drive began a few years ago and donated socks are given to Sebathani Community Center in Minneapolis. 


Fiona’s Hope Totes is a new initiative this year.  The Hope Tote program was launched early this year by DSAM member Stephanie Palewicz whose daughter Fiona spent much of her 24 months hospitalized.  They are tote bag care packages for families that are experiencing an unexpectedly extended hospital stay with their sick child.  Since Fiona’s death in early June, Steph has continued to provide Hope Totes to families in need of this small “bit of home” comfort.  The totes are filled with 5 to 10 oz shampoo and conditioner, body wash, lotion, nail clippers, nail files, facial cleansing cloths, toothpaste, small hairspray, Kleenex, razors and shaving cream, deck of cards.  The complete list can be found on Fiona’s Hope Totes website: www.fionashope.com.  No donation is too small; all will be greatly appreciated.   


We hope to see you there! Register today by visiting:dsamn.donorpages.com/StepUpWalk2014/

Step Up Walk T-Shirt Deadline: Tuesday, September 2nd!!

Want an official Step Up walk t-shirt this year?

The deadline for orders is next Tuesday, September 2nd!


Make sure to register yourself or your team by the 2nd
if you are ordering one of these lovely Step Up t-shirts:
If you are not ordering any shirts this year (many teams make their own!),
remember that you must register by September 22nd to request the
free bag lunch provided the day of the walk.
(Also, free gluten-free lunch option and food vendors available for purchase, or bring your own)
We are so thankful for everyone who has already Stepped Up to raise funds!  


Click here to register and set up your personal fundraising page today!
Online registration will close on September 22nd

You don’t want to miss this event!  

If you haven’t done it any of the past 17 years, maybe it’s time you joined us for the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, Sunday September 28th, Midway Park Pavilion, Como Park, St. Paul with registration starting at 10:30 AM. Walk starts at noon; lunch served following the walk.

On September 28th we’ll celebrate the accomplishments of our friends and family members with Down syndrome AND raise awareness of Down syndrome in our community. For the past 17 years that has meant a fun-filled day like no other, but topping our amazing Step Up Walk record is really up to you. Bring your family, friends, neighbors, classmates together for a fun and festivities filled day!

There will be so much for your family and friends to enjoy! Live music from the kindie-rock group The Bazillions, and ensemble from the Center for Irish Music. Plus, clowns, face painting, slides and moon walks, and hamster balls.  Returning this year will be the Home Depot tent where kids can make any number of crafts to take home and Twin Cities Music Therapy Services will be hosting a music exploration area. And don’t miss the New Parent Welcome tent hosted by Minnetonka Pediatric Therapy.

 Join us for another fantastic day celebrating the lives of people with Down syndrome!

Click here to register and order shirts/lunches!

2014 Step Up for Down Syndrome Sponsors

Thank you to all of our 2014 Step Up Sponsors who have come in to date! Interested in sponsoring the Walk? Please visit our Sponsorship Opportunities page or contact Marcy with any questions: (651) 603-0720 or Marcy@dsamn.org.

Gold Sponsors

Associated Eye Care: Vision for a lifetimeACR Homes Logo SILVER Showmens Assoc Logo GOLDMinnetonka_logoPediatric Dentistry  GOLD Mar Vista LogoRoxbury New Logomdm-rgb logoJPM Logo GOLDchase logo 2  GOLD

Silver Sponsors

Dentistry for Child & Ado SILVER 2014 OPAL SERVICES Logo SILVER 2014 Midwest ENT SILVER 2014Keep on Paddling Silver

In Kind Sponsors

AAA logo IN KIND 2014 Pepsi Logo 2014  IN KIND Print

Bronze Sponsors

Think Stucco

Kraus Anderson Construction Company

Associated Speech and Language

John P Ginther Agency

American Bank of the North

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