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Welcome to another edition of DNews. March was a busy month for us here at Down Syndrome Victoria with our Education Conference on the 19th, World Down Syndrome Day on the 21st and our annual Family Fun Day on the 25th. Thank you to everyone who attended, supported, participated and collaborated with us at these events both in person and online. 

If you have some spare time this coming weekend, check out some of the great stories supporting World Down Syndrome Day in the 21 stories to 21 March campaign, including one from our very own DSAN Representative Matt O'Neil. You might also like to spend some time with a cup of tea perusing #whatibringtomycommunity on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Read on for information about our new suite of training for parents and carers, upcoming NDIS workshops, some weekend reading, and the latest on social media. 

Until next time, from the team at Down Syndrome Victoria.

Victoria's Down Syndrome Australia Network Representative Matt O'Neil speaking with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove at Parliament House for the World Down Syndrome Day Morning Tea on 21/3.

MyTime News

MyTime Family Day - THIS SUNDAY!
Sunday 8th April, 10am-12.30pm

Come down to Bundoora All Abilities Playground for a casual weekend get together. It is an awesome, enclosed space with lots of room and activities for the kids to explore. There's space to roll out a rug and also undercover bench space. Best of all it is attached to a cafe. 

RSVP via email to
"Emma and I have been coming to MyTime since Emma was 4 months old. She's 2 now and I can honestly say that MyTime has been lifechanging! I'm a member of a few Facebook support groups for parents and while they have their place, nothing compares to face to face communication. What I love about MyTime is that I rarely dwell on any problems. It's a couple of hours for ME, while someone plays with Emma, that I can just be with other people." Kelly, mum to Emma. 

Upcoming Training + Workshops

Parent + Carer Training Calendar is here!

We have launched a new suite of workshops for parents and carers to build essential knowledge and skills which will assist them in supporting a person with Down syndrome to live a fulfilled life. Our new calendar features a number of expert guests including sleep specialist Associate Professor Gillian Nixon, Dementia Australia's Janelle Russ, and others. To view the workshops we have on offer click here.

DSV and the NDIS
Down Syndrome Victoria supports the principles of the NDIS offering more choice and control to achieve a better life.

One question we have been asked is:

Why is DSV now charging for services that once were free?

The NDIS is affecting how Down Syndrome Victoria can continue to offer services. The Victorian Government will cease supporting DSV to deliver some of our services because funding is being re-allocated as individual NDIS packages.

Our services previously supported by government and generous philanthropic donations, now need to be funded differently, mainly by people using their individual NDIS packages to purchase them.

If you wish to continue accessing DSV’s services, we encourage you to include them in discussions with your NDIS Planner.

Online Training for Educators

Did you know we are also offering online training for educators? 

DSV were fortunate to receive a grant to produce three modules to help teachers work more effectively with their students. 

There is a module on – Reading, Written Expression and Behaviour.

If you have a child attending school, you might consider letting their teacher know that the modules are available. They are also a great resource for parents.

Thank you to all the children who were part of the videos.

Each one of the three education modules is accredited VIT Professional Development and a certificate will be issued for each module on completion. There is no cost to access the online modules. 

Turning Knowledge into Action Education Conference

Our annual education conference was held on the 19th March and was a great success with some teachers travelling from regional Victoria to be there.  Graeme Innes the former Disability Discrimination Commissioner opened the conference and talked about his work with the Program for Students with Disabilities Review and the importance of real inclusion for those with disabilities in all aspects of life.  The workshops offered practical assistance with Literacy, Numeracy and Assistive Technology and was a great opportunity for teachers to ask questions and share information.
Human Rights Practitioner and Australian Disability Discrimination Commissioner from 2005-2014, Graeme Innes proved to be an engaging key note speaker at our Education Conference. 

Family Fun Day

Thanks to everyone who attended Family Fun Day. It was great to see so many families and meet some new families too.
Amelia enjoying Family Fun Day. 

Early Days Support - New Parent Session

Saturday 14th April, 11am - 1pm 
Down Syndrome Victoria, Abbotsford

The session will include:
• An introduction to Down Syndrome Victoria and our services
• Exploring the potential of people with Down syndrome
• Practical things to consider in the early days, including information on services & supports
• A chance to browse some resources
• The opportunity to meet and get to know some other families
• Time to reflect on the journey so far and share ideas and experiences

Please note: Babies are, of course, welcome but the session is not suitable for young children.

Call 9486 9600 or email to register.
Early Days Support - a workshop for new parents

NDIS & Me Skill Building Sessions

Session 2 - Preparing to Plan with the NDIS
Thursday 19th April, 11am-1pm AND 6.30pm-8.30pm
Room 3, Phoenix Park Community Centre
Ivanhoe Close, Malvern East

Did you miss out on our NDIS & Me skill building sessions?

Don't stress - they're on again

The key to a successful NDIS experience means understanding processes and building confidence to make decisions and negotiate supports which help achieve a good future.  Get access to information that is well informed, independent and objective.

Down Syndrome Victoria
18/71 Victoria Crescent, Abbotsford
Session 1 – Introduction to the NDIS
Sunday 15 April, 2pm-4pm
An overview of the NDIS from eligibility to plan implementation. 
Session 2 – Preparing to plan
Sunday 22 April, 2pm-4pm
Learn how to put into practice the 3 key steps to successful goal setting – from ideas to reality.   
Session 3 – Setting Goals for your NDIS planning meeting
Sunday 29 April, 2pm-4pm
A  ‘hands-on’ practical session drafting goals and understanding  NDIS processes for allocating  funded packages.
Session 4 – Becoming a Savvy Consumer
Sunday 6 May, 2pm-4pm
Learn how to negotiate the best deals to meet your expectations and how to resolve issues if they arise.
RVSP via email to

we are reading

| Boyfriends + Girlfriends by Terri Couwenhoven |
Covering a whole gamut of topics from how to tell someone you like them to information about sexual relationships, Boyfriends + Girlfriends is a well laid out and informative book. It is written specifically for people with a disability, and includes pictures, large text, and specific information about the intricacies of communication, touch, sexual health and family planning. 

| Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon |
We have recently revisited this book and its honest and raw investigation into what it is that makes us human. In depth interviews with parents are intertwined with commentary on the multitude of ways in which diversity can unite us. If you make it through this giant book and you're itching for more, you can also watch Andrew Solomon's ted talk

Call Out For Voice Submissions

How would you like to see yourself in Voice magazine? 
Voice is our members' journal which is published three times a year. 
You can write something long or something short about your job or hobby or holiday. 
It can be about anything you like so get creative! 
You could interview a friend, or review a book or movie. 
You could send in a drawing or painting or a short story.

If you don't want to write, the editor can interview you over the phone or skype instead.  

Simply send your idea to and we'll see if we can include it in the next edition of Voice.  

Useful Links

We have published some useful links on our website, including links to advocacy/rights, carers, community, NDIS information, leisure/sport and more. These will help you stay in the loop!


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