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Welcome back to another edition of DNews.

Following on from World Down Syndrome Day last month we've heard some wonderful community stories which we have shared across social media. You can also read a great interview with Kimba Wall who is the mascot for Chelsea SES in this month's newsletter. 

April is a bumper month and we have some great online and face to face events coming up so make sure you check them out and register soon! It has been wonderful to be able to provide some in-person events over the past month and we look forward to continuing to develop our hybrid program as the year progresses.

As usual, please contact us on 9486 9600 or email info@dsav.asn.au with questions, information, concerns or any other enquiry - no matter how big or small. 

Until next time...
From the team at DSV. 
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Education Support Service Update
 
It was so lovely getting back out into schools in Term One to visit students, we certainly missed not being able to do this in 2020. However, like many other organisations we learnt to work differently to best meet the varied needs of schools, teachers and students. We became accustomed to meeting with teachers for online consultations and delivering professional development to whole staff virtually. It opened up an array of options. Recently we delivered a series of webinars to teachers to support them with the students in their schools with Down syndrome. Feedback suggests the accessibility of this medium to teachers all across the state has been beneficial.

It’s not too late to register for our 2021 Education Support Service. Your child’s school may not be aware of our Education service and the assistance we offer, so please share our ESS flyer. We also have limited government funded places for state schools so please contact us for any questions on eligibility. 

Likewise, as we embark on a series of workshops for Transition to Primary/Secondary School we are pleased to be able to offer parents both an online and/or virtual experience. Our workshop, Transition to Primary School, will be held onsite at our Abbotsford office on Tuesday 4 May and online on May 11. For Transition to Secondary School, our onsite and online workshops will be held on May 19 and 25 respectively.

Visit our events page for more information and to register.

Don't miss these upcoming events at DSV

We're continuing to host online information sessions and group catch-ups through Zoom, as well as some face-to-face events. We hope you can join us in person, or from the comfort of your home, for a DSV event soon. 
 
Coming up:

+ Come along to our Transition to Primary School from 6.30pm-7.30pm Tuesday 4 May (in person) and from 6.30pm-7.30pm Tuesday 11 May (Zoom)

+ Our next Zoom Coffee and Chat (0-15 years), is coming up on 12 May. Join DSV Family Support Manager Sonia on 12 May to get the latest news from DSV and connect with other parents. 
+ Come along to our Transition to Secondary School from 6.30pm - 7.30pm Wednesday 19 May (in person) and from 6.30 - 7.30 on Tuesday 25 May (Zoom)
+ Join our workshop on 22 May for information on NDIS: Introduction and Overview.

+ Meet other parents and get the latest news from DSV with DSV Adult Support Manager Debby at our upcoming Zoom Coffee and Chat (15+ years) on 27 May.

+ Join our online information session: Preparing Your Child For Kindergarten on 2 June and hear from experienced Kindergarten Teacher Corina Payne.

+ Don't miss our informative online session on Special Disability Trusts with Margaret Duncan on 3 June.
For more information and to register jump over to our website

Pathways to Post-School Life - An NDIS hosted workshop
 
The NDIS is hosting a Pathways to post-school life webinar for parents of students in Years 10 - 12 in mainstream and specialist schools. At this webinar you'll find out about career planning and pathways tools, NDIS-funded supports and other assistance available under the NDIS and DET.

Register here.
Monash Research Opportunity - 
Attention profiles in children with an intellectual disability 

 
Difficulties with paying attention in class can impact children’s learning. Understanding attention profiles is an important part of developing individual approaches to help children achieve their learning potential. Monash University are developing a new parent rating scale to measure attention strengths and difficulties in children and adolescents with an intellectual disability.

Monash University are recruiting families who have a child aged 6 – 18 years. The research will involve parents completing some questionnaires and their child completing activities on an iPad. Activities will be done at your child’s school or another agreed location; this research does not involve families having to travel.

For more information, please contact Dr Nerelie Freeman at the Faculty of Education, Monash University on 9905-4391 or by email: nerelie.freeman@monash.edu.

This research has gone through Down Syndrome Victoria's Board of Management ethics approval process.
Kimba Wall - proud mascot of the Chelsea SES

Kimba Wall is the proud mascot of the Chelsea SES, where her father Phil Wall is a volunteer. To celebrate, we interviewed Kimba to find out more about being a mascot and what she gets up to. 

Tell us about your role at Chelsea SES. What are some of the tasks you do?
My Dad has been a volunteer at Chelsea SES for 18 years and I used to go to the unit with him sometimes. Then I was in a couple of pictures with the guys, and they asked me to be their mascot. They have also made 2 Christmas song videos and I performed in both of them which was really fun.

How long have you been the mascot for?
About 10 years and it’s a lot of fun.

What are some of the other things you do with your time?
I am part of the BAM ARTS group which I love. We do dancing and vocal training as well as art and visual arts with making videos and photography. Each year we put on a big show at the Frankston Arts Centre and we also perform at different places through the year. We performed twice at Government House for the Governor on Australia Day and we were also in the 2020 Moomba Parade. We performed at the St Kilda Festival and of course at Werribee Park Zoo for World Down Syndrome Day.

What are your goals for 2021?

More performing for a real audience. We did a lot of Zoom shows in lockdown which was fun, but nothing is better than being in front of a live audience and hearing them applaud. Also, a few years ago, I did a talk at a high school, telling the kids about having Down Syndrome and it was great, it would be good to do some more of those if I had the chance.

What are some of the good things you contribute to your community?
I think that our BAM performances make a lot of people happy. Until recently, I volunteered one day a week at the local Family Life Op Shop in Chelsea, but I don’t do that anymore as it had to close down which was a shame. I think that all of the things I do, help people to know more about Down Syndrome and that is a good thing as I am proud of my disability because it is just another part of what makes me, me.  

What has made you feel connected with people in your community?

Working in the Op Shop, I got to know lots of people and they still say Hi when I see them at the shops. I also perform sometimes with my Dad in a Frank Sinatra show and we sing a couple of duets and I love to chat to the people after the show. I love my life!

Is there anything else you would like to share?
During lockdown, we did a thing called the BAM Driveway Dance Challenge and we all did a dance in our driveways to a Delta Goodrem song called Welcome To Earth and when the video was finished, Delta saw it. Then we were doing a Zoom concert and Delta dropped in and spent time with all of us which was such a great surprise. Then, Delta asked BAM to make a video for her new song called Keep Climbing and we did, and it became the official video clip for her single, now that was really amazing! You can see the video clip here!

Do you have a story for DSV?

If you have a story, achievement or milestone you would like to share with the DSV community, we'd love to hear from you. Please email lucyb@dsav.asn.au.
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Down Syndrome Victoria · 18/71 Victoria Crescent · Abbotsford · Melbourne, VIC 3067 · Australia