DNews March 2016
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Don't Forget - Family Fun Day this Sunday!

Sunday 20th March, 11am-2.30pm, Ashwood School

Click on the banner above or here for full information.
World Down Syndrome Day
21st March 2016


Help Down Syndrome Victoria provide the services, programs and support to ensure individuals with Down syndrome actively participate within the community and gain greater independence by fundraising as part of World Down Syndrome Day.
  • Create an event you want to do (ie: morning tea, lots of socks, BBQ)
  • Start a fundraising page for yourself, your friends or your office. 
  • Share your page. Share your online fundraising page with your friends, family and work mates by email, Facebook or Twitter. This is important, because this is how you get support for your activity. Your friends can sponsor you and leave messages of support and your donors will receive their donation receipt immediately for donating to Down Syndrome Victoria. 
Choosing a School - Primary
Family Workshop

An evening of information and discussion about choosing the best
educational setting for your child
with Down syndrome starting primary school.

Click the picture above or here for more details.

Diversity in the Workplace Luncheon

If you are interested in employing individuals with a disability or seeking information to implement your Diversity in the Workplace program, then don’t miss the opportunity to attend the Down Syndrome Victoria luncheon on Wednesday 30 March 2016.

Hear from leading members in their respective fields on processes adopted, challenges addressed and successful experiences in working in a team environment. 

You will hear about the implementation of Sportability, which has a goal of 1000 jobs in sport for people with a disability by 2020; the experiences of employment supporter Ability Tasmania Group; how the AFL Umpires Association introduced the Fiona McBurney Match Day Experience and partner with the AFL on programs; and the management styles of key figures with Carlton Football Club and their cast experience in team environments.

To book your ticket to the event, click here or on the image below.
Club 21

Club 21 kicked off the New Year with a game of lawn bowls at Fitzroy Bowling and Sports Club. Fitzroy Bowling and Sport Club generously donated the lanes to Club 21, Club 21er’s brought the snacks (so much food!) and we bowled the afternoon away. It was a glorious sunny day and we all enjoyed a good catch up after the summer break.
Over the last weekend in February we enjoyed a Club 21 favourite, a pub night. We made our way to the Birmingham Hotel, enjoyed some great pub grub. We had a great turn out of 20 members plus volunteers, DSV board members and DSV staff.

If you would like to join in the fun at Club 21 Melbourne or Geelong please contact Casey or Kerry.
Learmonth Market

Led by Wendy McNabb, the Ballarat Down Syndrome Support Group hosted a fantastic market at Learmonth on Saturday 5 March to celebrate the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day.

Attendees enjoyed leaping on the jumping castle, tested their skills with the Kelly Sports games, were entertained by the Funky Turtles and bid for a bargain during the auction. Everyone enjoyed a wonderful day of family entertainment thanks to the hard work of the dedicated band of volunteers and generous support of the local community.

All monies raised at the annual event goes towards the programs, services and support provided by Down Syndrome Victoria.
2016 Education Conference

Victoria is certainly the fore runner in its commitment to raising awareness and support for the learning needs of all children. This year’s Down Syndrome Education Support Service Professional Development Day provided a great opportunity for Alan Wilson, Manager of Disabilities and Additional Needs (Department of Education and Training) to deliver a message of inclusion and support for teachers as they endeavour to broaden their expertise and fulfil their professional responsibilities. All teachers are required to complete twenty hours in disability education this year to attain their Victorian Institute of Teaching registration and many of our attendees on Wednesday are well on their way to achieving that.

Overwhelmingly, attendees have responded positively to the educational insight delivered on the day. The focus of sessions ranged from examining the nature of intellectual disability, exploring effective strategies for accommodating difficulties, developing expressive and receptive language, utilising frameworks to develop learning programs and sharing ideas that contribute to all children feeling a sense of belonging in the mainstream classroom. The highlight of the conference, however, was undoubtedly our “Perspectives” session, held at the end of the day.  Successful inclusion of a child with Down syndrome in a mainstream setting requires a respectful relationship between home and the school. The focus must always be on the needs and potential of the child. Hearing three very personal stories from Sally, a teacher, Monica, a parent and Jack, a Year Nine student, allowed the audience to “walk in the shoes” of each, to imagine what it must be like to be “the other” and to contemplate the necessity for understanding, empathy and open communication along the way.

All of our presenters were completely upstaged by the responses of Jack Williamson from Emmaus College and there was not a sign of resentment at all because of this. Jack’s poise, thoughtful considerations and gracious acknowledgement of much loved teachers, reminded us all of the influence we, as educators, can have on changing community attitudes and building better lives for all of the children in our care.

We are indebted to the generosity of all involved on the day: our guest presenters, our attendees, including parents, the Newman’s Own Foundation, the Department of Education and Training and the Down Syndrome Victoria team. Planning is already well underway for 2017!
Upcoming DSV Family Workshops  2016
Early Days Support Workshop One
(for new parents)

The intent of Workshop One is to bring parents of babies (under 12mths old) with Down syndrome into one space in which families can not only access information, but can meet, share and unite with others in a similar situation. The sessions are relaxed and quite informal to allow for the sharing of experiences and learning from others. Topics covered include: an overview of services and supports including Down Syndrome Victoria and Early Intervention services, working effectively with health professionals, supporting potential and looking after yourself and your family.
Dates:  4 April – DSV Offices 6:15pm
             27 Jun – DSV Offices 6:15pm
             5 Sept – DSV Offices 6:15pm

RSVPs essential – phone: 9486 9600 ext 208 or email
Early Days Support Workshop Two
(for parents of pre-school aged children)

This workshop is designed for families who have attended Workshop One and whose children are now aged one to five years. Topics covered include: self care, planning and goal setting, early intervention, using funding supports and creating a vision for your child’s future.
Dates:  22 April – DSV Offices 10am
                               17 Jun – Bendigo (venue TBC) 9.30am
              27 Jun – DSV Offices 6.15pm

              5 Sept – DSV Offices 6:15pm

RSVPs essential – phone: 9486 9600 ext 208 or email
Looking Ahead Leaving School
This workshop is designed for families who have a child 14 to 21 years old with Down syndrome. Topics covered include: creating a vision, post school options, training & skill development, creating independence, the FFYA or transition to employment assessment process and information about Centrelink that may affect you.
Date: 17 Jun – Bendigo (venue TBC) 9.30am
RSVPs Essential – phone: 9486 9600 ext 202 or email

NDIS and Me Information Session
(Bendigo Region)
Have you wondered what impact the Scheme will have on your life and the life of your son/daughter? The key to a successful NDIS experience includes understanding processes and building the confidence to decide and to negotiate supports which will help achieve a good future. Down Syndrome Victoria is able to provide assistance for you to build these skills. This session will provide ideas that are well informed, independent and objective.

Sound interesting? Keen to know more? Then join us and other families when DSV Comes to you in June.

Date: 17 Jun – Bendigo (venue TBC) 1.30pm
RSVPs essential – phone: 9486 9600 ext 211 or email
Down Syndrome Victoria coordinates 18 MyTime groups in the evening, weekends and weekdays. 

New members are always welcome. To find a group in your area click here for more information, or call Kerry Hands on 9486 9600 ext. 20

Volunteer Play Helpers needed in Bundoora fortnightly on a Thursday morning, to support the MyTime group. Mostly the children are pre-schoolers and there is an experienced play helper who works with the group. How much fun would it be to spend a couple of hours playing with kids? Please call Kerry if you are interested on 9486 9600 ext 202.

Call out for My Voice submissions

Would you like to share your achievements with our national Down Syndrome community? Here’s your chance!

We are looking for submissions to the ‘My Voice’ section of Voice, our members’ journal which is published three times a year. My Voice is a section devoted to letting you tell your story – perhaps you’ve just started a new job, or have attended an awesome DSV event, or have a special occasion or triumph that you’d like to share. We’d love to hear it!

Simply send a short paragraph about your news and a high resolution photo to accompany it to, and we’ll see if we can include it in the next edition of My Voice.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Papaleo.
Library Books Reminder

If you have borrowed a book from our library, please can we request that you return it as soon as possible. Thank you!
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