Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress
Our mission is:
To advocate for the realization and enhancement of the full spectrum of human and civil rights for persons with Down syndrome
To address social policy issues and conditions that affect the growth and the potential of persons with Down syndrome##
To gather and disseminate accurate information regarding Down syndrome
To promote public awareness and a better understanding of Down syndrome
To encourage partnerships between parents and medical and educational professionals concerned with Down syndrome
To provide support to families of children with Down syndrome
To encourage quality services for persons with Down syndrome
We implement our mission with these activities:
- We support new parents of babies with Down syndrome through our First Call Program.
- We present workshops on topics of importance to our members and to those in the community concerned with Down syndrome.
- We sponsor social activities for members and their families and friends.
- We hold a statewide convention every year. Featuring nationally known speakers and workshops on best practices in education, medicine and social issues, itaddresses the needs of people with Down syndrome and celebrates their potential.
- We award scholarships to people with and without Down syndrome who are pursuing higher education.
- We support medical programs at St. Raphael’s Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
- We support legal and legislative initiatives to benefit those with intellectual disabilities.
- We maintain an extensive internet-based communication system. This allows us to notify members of federal and state legislative initiatives that affect our families, to facilitate discussion and to provide support and information in a timely manner.
- We publish a quarterly newsletter and provide printed updates of our activities to those who do not have internet access.
Statement of Principles
Every person has inherent worth and dignity regardless of ability or disability.
All individuals have the right to direct their future; have control over how they live their lives, where, and with whom; and have authority over the resources that support them.
Individuals who have Down syndrome, their families, professionals, service providers and the general public should receive accurate and timely information about the rich lives of individuals who have Down syndrome from prenatal diagnosis through birth, childhood and adulthood.
Everyone concerned for individuals who have Down syndrome and for those who have similar needs should work together for the common good of all and speak with a unified voice to our legislators and public officials.
Individuals who have Down syndrome should be educated, be employed, live and play in the same classrooms, the same enterprises, the same living spaces and the same activities where people would go if they did not have Down syndrome. Toward this end, the CDSC supports federal, state and local laws, regulations and policies that provide accommodations and supports in natural community settings – in particular:
- full implementation of the goals of the PJ Settlement Agreement
- Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waivers with adequate state funding of supports for competitive employment and independent living in the community
- the closure of the Southbury Training School and other publicly funded, congregate living groups and sheltered workshops that segregate individuals who have developmental disabilities
- “Employment First” policies that provide equal access to meaningful, purposeful jobs at the state minimum wage or greater
- equal access to health care and health insurance without regard to the diagnosis of Down syndrome
- equal access to the retirement, eldercare and long-term care resources, facilities and programs that serve the general population