Northwest Down Syndrome Association

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About Us

The NWDSA has been a parent-driven family support network since 1997. The NWDSA’s mission is to create and nurture a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability including Down syndrome.

The NWDSA/ABI will accomplish this mission by empowering and supporting families and individuals who have been touched by developmental disability. Together with our cross-disability sister project, All Born (In), founded in 2006, we will work to increase education, promote public understanding and acceptance, work toward full inclusion, and defend the civil rights of individuals with Down syndrome. Our vision also embraces professionals and the cross-disability community. Our statement of values is the core of our organization and the basis for how we make decisions to support our mission.

We believe that relationships are the cornerstones of our organization and that they should be both honored and nurtured.

We Believe...

... disability is a natural part of the human experience.
... In the right of all people to contribute and participate as valued citizens, regardless of race, religion, disability, income, ethnicity, age, gender and/or sexual orientation.
... in the need to promote civil rights of people with disabilities.
... in the principles of self-determination and informed individual choice.
... families are an invaluable resource in crafting supports. Within that principle we believe in collaboration and partnership.
... decisions that affect families should be made by families, and that families have the right to all information and support necessary to become empowered to make good choices.
... family involvement must be respected throughout the life of the person with the disability.
... in individual choices that honor personal preferences and cultural beliefs.
... support systems must be designed to meet specific needs.
... flexibility is key and “one size fits all” services do not work.
... in encouraging and promoting full participation and leadership of self-advocates.
... in creating learning opportunities that follow best practices and empower families.
... in being a parent and self-advocate driven strength based organization. We rely on the support of professionals but empowered parents are the guiding force behind our organization.
... in an involved, inclusive community and in working with the community to increase capacity.

... risk-taking and “outside the box” thinking is inherent in growth, leadership and change.