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We hope this finds you well after another big month for Victorians. Grab a cuppa and enjoy a scroll through this month's edition of DNews, we have a lot to share with you!

Events are starting up again and we have a whole range of online and face-to-face events for you to get involved with. We can't wait to see you soon! We also have lots of great community stories, art in particular seeming a very popular theme this month.

As usual, please contact us on 9486 9600 or email 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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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:

+ Meet other parents and get the latest news from DSV with DSV Family Support Manager Sonia at our upcoming Zoom Coffee and Chat (0-15 years) 14 July, or at the next opportunity which will be 11 August.
+ Join our online information session: Toilet Training on 28 July and hear from Director and Founder of Nurses Know How Continence Assessment and Management Services, Lisa Wragg.

+ Don't miss our informative online session on Sleep & Children with Down Syndrome, hosted by Assoc Prof Gillian Nixon on 10 August.

+ Our Laughter Workshops have been re-scheduled for 7 August, 14 August and 21 August with comedian Tracy Bartram.
For more information and to register jump over to our website
Education Support Service Update
Student Support Groups

Department of Education (DET) schools

The Education Support Service team receive numerous enquiries about Student Support Group meetings (SSGs), therefore we thought it might be beneficial to provide you with some general information.

The SSG is a group of people who come together to form a partnership to support students with additional learning needs. Usually, this group includes parents or carers, class teacher, Principal or nominee, parent advocate and/or health professionals who collaborate to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the student.

The Student Support Group’s responsibility is to:
  • Identify the needs of the student
  • Identify adjustments to the curriculum
  • Provide advice to the Principal about the additional education needs of the student and the resources required to meet these needs
  • Develop an Individual Education Plan
  • Keep minutes of the meeting with a plan of agreed actions
  • Review and evaluate the student’s program on a regular basis - at least once a term.
Important information about SSGs:
  • Schools must establish an SSG for students supported by the Program for Students with a Disability (PSD)
  • Meetings should occur at least once a term
  • Prior to the SSG, all members should be provided with an agenda and given sufficient time to prepare for the meeting
  • Minutes should be taken during the meeting and distributed to members
  • As your child gets older, they can attend and have a say in their own learning
  • Parents may choose to have a support person attend the meeting with them.
For further information please use the following link.

Catholic schools
Referred to as Program Support Groups (PSGs) in Catholic schools, the PSG may have some slight variations to the DET model, for more information please use the following link.

Please contact Ro O'Dwyer or Paula Kilgallon via email or on 03 9486 9600 if you have any questions
Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) + Uber
In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is expanding the Multi Purpose Taxi Program to include Uber - giving people with disabilities and accessibility needs access to a greater choice of subsidised transport options.

The MPTP subsidy covers 50% of the cost of eligible participants trips, up to $60. MPTP subsidies are automatically applied to the upfront price shown to the rider before they request a trip, and remains automatically applied until an individual’s subsidy is exhausted. 

To join the program, you first need to complete this form. Make sure you include the email address that is connected to your Uber account, and have your MPTP member card number handy.
Lots of Socks
Each year in Australia we run the Lots of Socks campaign, this year we want you involved in creating a design that will be used for 2022 and 2023.

We are giving individuals with Down syndrome a chance to design the coming year’s socks! Two designs will be selected (1 per sock) and will be used to promote WDSD in Australia and the Lots of Socks campaign in 2022. As per previous years, the sock sales will directly raise funds for your local Down Syndrome Association.

Do you have Down syndrome? Do you have a flair for art and design? Then you could be one of the artists we are looking for!
Some designing tips:
  • Sock design should be one image that can be repeated on the sock
  • Use no more than 7 colours
  • Simple is best - no complicated patterns, as some details will be difficult to print.
The theme is Australiana… So get out there and create. Entries close 31 July, 2021.
Submit Your Design Here
Baby to Toddler Show

Down Syndrome Victoria is thrilled to have a stall at this years Baby to Toddler Show. This is Australia’s most comprehensive parenting event featuring everything to do with pregnancy and baby, through to the toddler years, providing new and expectant parents with the very best products and advice to help them on their parenting journey.
This free-to-attend event provides a one stop shop for all pregnancy, baby and toddler needs, offering a stylish shopping experience (where you can try before you buy!), exclusive show specials, expert advice and entertainment.
The Baby to Toddler Show Melbourne takes place on 16-18 July 2021 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. We would love for you to pop down and say hello to our Family Support Manager Sonia Bonadio, as well as other members of our team over the course of the weekend.
Register for your free tickets here.

#babytotoddlershow #babytotoddlershowmelbourne #b2tshow

Grill'd Collingwood

This month, DSV have a donation jar at Grill'd Collingwood. Head down to Grill'd, pick up a yummy burger and make sure you place your token in the DSV jar. The jar with the most tokens at the end of the month wins funds. 

Take a photo and email it to us to feature in the next edition of DNews.

Horsham Family Event

Families in Horsham were lucky to get a beautiful sunny day for their day out at Gold Rush Mini Golf in Ballarat, just before the 4th COVID lockdown. As you can see from the happy smiling faces, everyone enjoyed a game of mini golf and a delicious spit roast lunch.

‘It was lovely to see new families meeting each other and enjoying each other’s company in a relaxed atmosphere over golf and lunch. It was also very special for siblings and family members also enjoying the day and becoming aware of other wonderfully unique families just like ours.’

After last year's lockdown, DSV was able to offer grants to Regional Family Groups for community/peer connection.

If you are part of a Regional network and have not yet connected with DSV to discuss potential opportunities for your local community, please contact Janice Chan.

Congratulations to Alex who has just achieved his Taekwondo Black Belt. Alex does Taekwondo with his two sisters, Alex and Olivia and it has become something the full family gets a lot out of. Alex started Taekwondo when he was just 8years old, so this is a huge achievement to accomplish just before he starts high school next year. You can read all about Alex's story in VOICE magazine later this year. 

Introducing Cailie Coney

We are thrilled to introduce Cailie this month, an award-winning artist living in Warburton. Art has been always been an important part of Cailie’s life however like most of us, this was impacted during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

During COVID-19, Cailie was able to start private art classes with Helen from Cornell Ceramics and able to engage in a new medium, pottery, which she is loving. She is also having private lessons in drawing and painting.

Cailie also volunteers two days a week at ECOSS Wesburn – a sustainable community project involving gardening, cooking and various other businesses. She has also been an active member of the AllAbilities musicals with Dandenong Ranges Music Council which has recently started again after COVID-19.

Cailie has a great support network and a support worker also takes her away to various air bnb’s where she has the opportunity to cook, hike, exercise, practice mindfulness and more.

We can’t wait to see what else she gets up to as we emerge from lockdown once again!

You can see Cailie’s artwork on Facebook here.

Western Special Needs Dentistry

Western Special Needs Dentistry (WSND) is owned by Dr Helen Marchant, a specialist in the field of Special Needs Dentistry.

We welcome anyone from school age and beyond who may benefit from a slower pace of dentistry! Our aim is to build long term relationships with our patients and we welcome the involvement of family and carers in developing appropriate treatment plans.

WSND is a private practice, but we bulk bill for all children eligible for the Medicare Child Dental Benefit Scheme. Eligible families receive a letter from Medicare informing them that they are entitled to $1013 over a 2 year period. If unsure of eligibility, parents can contact us on 1300818179 and our friendly receptionist, Hayley can check with Medicare.

We are co-located with Verdant Dental Practice on Keilor Road in Niddrie. Please visit our website for more details and a social story!

We also love visiting schools or day programs to spread the message about Good Oral Health.

We hope to see you soon!

Paper Planet

Paper Planet is a universally accessible experience that families find inspiring and utterly captivating. 

This season of Paper Planet, presented by Polyglot Theatre and Abbotsford Convent for Convent Kids, is designed to specifically meet the needs of families who have a child or children with a disability and encourages the participation of all family members. 

Audiences are invited to create a beautiful world inside a forest of tall cardboard trees, using only paper, tape and their imaginations. Everyone plays together in this magical place to create creatures, plants, costumes, characters, stories and adventures. Paper Planet is child-led, deeply involving and highly sensory, and sure to delight the whole family. 

26, 28-30 June, $10 per family booking. Specialist school sessions available 24-25 June. 

For more information about access and booking, click here.

 This season is supported by the City of Yarra. 

 #PolyglotTheatre #AbbotsfordConvent #ConventKids 

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
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Down Syndrome Victoria · 18/71 Victoria Crescent · Abbotsford · Melbourne, VIC 3067 · Australia