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Join the 2022 Bowl-A-Thon planning committee!
Are you creative? Do you love event planning? Want a role in helping our mission? We cannot wait to hear from you!

Date: Tuesday, September 14
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting on Zoom.

Join the bowl-a-thon committee for the largest fundraiser that makes all of the programs and scholarships available throughout the year! Most meetings are virtual so you can participate no matter where you live. If you live outside the Orlando area and would like to help, there are virtual team options and the auction is online so anyone can participate!  

Details for our next virtual meeting can be found above! Being part of this committee is fun and a great way to fulfill "active member" status with The FOUNDATION. We are looking for people that are committed to making a difference and can help with the items below:

  • Securing auction items
  • Registering teams for the Corporate Cup Challenge 
  • Corporate Sponsorships
  • Helping participants set up virtual teams.

We would love a few more creative and energetic individuals to help us make this the best event yet! If you are interested in joining, please email Camille at Camille.Gardiner@dsfflorida.org.
Understanding Changes to the Florida Standards Alternate Assessment
Date: Thursday, September 16
Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting on Zoom - link will be emailed after registration.

Join us for an update on the new criteria that has been implemented this school year for determining eligibility for Access Points and the Alternative Assessment. We will cover the updated eligibility criteria for determining Intellectual Disability, which is a requirement for consideration of Access Points. The continuum of placement options will also be discussed so parents are better informed when asked to provide consent for Access Points.
Presenter: Debbie Gelinas, Director of IEP Coaching & Advocacy, is one of our members (Zoe's mom) and for over 10 years she has been serving families as they navigate the IEP process. Debbie specializes in inclusion advocacy while taking into consideration the unique needs of each of her differently abled clients. Join us on September 16th from 7pm to 9pm from the comfort of your home via Zoom.
New program alert! - iCan! Surf
Date: Saturday, September 18
Time: 9:00am - 11:00am
Location: Esther Park - New Smyrna Beach
Address: 551 Esther Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Cost: $20 per surfer (Program cost is $45, The FOUNDATION will cover $25 towards registration.)

Join us for an EXCITING new program - iCan! Surf at New Smyrna Beach. This program is designed to teach the fundamentals of surfing to people with Down syndrome with the guidance of surf instructor, Chris Ross. No experience is necessary - you don't even have to know how to swim! Life jackets will be provided. Parents are encouraged to participate but it is not mandatory. Got questions? Please contact Robin at Robin.Longley@dsfflorida.org

RSVP is required by Thursday, September 16.
This program has a capacity so please don’t come to surf if you have not received a confirmation email.

Surf Instructor - Chris Ross
Facebook - @nsbsurfinstructor https://www.facebook.com/nsbsurfinstructor  
Instagram - @nsbsurfinstructor https://www.instagram.com/nsbsurfinstructor/

A special THANK YOU to Annie Vessell for spearheading this amazing new program for our members!
FOUNDATION Playdate
When: Saturday, September 18
Time: 10:00am - 11:00am
Location: Online - Zoom link will be sent after registration.

Join us for Storytime with Suzanne! We will be reading books and sharing a few silly sing-a-long activities. The FOUNDATION's September playdate will take place online at 10 am through Zoom. Spend a Saturday morning getting to know more families with children from birth to age twelve in our community.

A special THANK YOU to Suzanne Sherrill for helping us organize and plan this fun family event!
iCan! Programs - Extended registration
There's still time to Charge On towards SUCCESS.

Haven't registered for our iCan! programs yet? Good news - the deadline to register has been extended! Check out the links below for program information, times, and more. The time to act is now - do not miss out on our fantastic programming in partnership with the University of Central Florida for our members from 4 years old to adulthood.

Program dates, all scheduled on a Saturday:
  • October 2, 2021
  • October 23, 2021
  • November 13, 2021
  • December 4, 2021
  • January 22, 2022
  • February 12, 2022
  • February 26, 2022 
iCan! Learn
 *Register and submit payment by 9/10 to receive a $50 discount.

This program is designed for children ages 4-9 who are just entering or about to enter the school system. We partner with UCF's College of Community Innovation and Education and work with students who help our families with tools and resources focused on research based methods proven to help our children. This program uses research-based methods to teach the parents and children valuable skills in the areas of reading, math, speech, occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT). Each week you will walk away with more ‘tools in your toolbox’ designed to help your child succeed. The kids have a fun experience learning with UCF students majoring in education while parents participate in a hands-on learning workshop. 
iCan! Excel
 *Register and submit payment by 9/10 to receive a $50 discount.
 
iCan! Excel offers youth ages 10-15 the opportunity to get moving and have fun. Our participants learn mindfulness and yoga in a supportive and creative environment. The goal of the program is to teach exercise as an effective way to manage and reduce stress levels and develop effective coping strategies. 
College & Career Prep
*Receive a gift card back at the end of the program based on attendance!

This program is beneficial for those 16 and older of all abilities. Participants and UCF students explore various parts of community life from navigating campus to building a budget to exploring healthy eating and exercise options.
Help make our Tour of Champions Golf Tournament a hole in one!
The FOUNDATION is looking for Hole Sponsors or for help getting auction items!

Our inaugural sold-out tournament will include a small high-end auction and we'd love for YOU to help us procure items or sponsor a hole! We've started an auction wish list but we are open to your suggestions as well. The auction wish list can be found below.

If you have connections for an auction item, or would like to sponsor a hole, please contact Robin at robin.longley@dsfflorida.org or at (407) 538-3537 - Thank you!
A special THANK YOU to Florida Paints for hosting this inaugural Tour of Champions Golf Tournament at Isleworth Golf and Country Club with all proceeds benefiting The FOUNDATION.

Family Skate Night, APD & ABLE United Sign-Up Event - Register today!
Calling all families - join us for a FUN evening of skating, pizza, and more!

Date: Monday, September 20th
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Astro Skate
Address: 866 S Goldenrod Rd. Orlando, FL 32822

The Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida invites you to bring your loved ones and join us for a FREE family night at Astro Skate with pizza! Come join us for some fun and get informed about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) and ABLE United. To sign up for APD your child has to be at least 3 years old, but anyone can start an ABLE account. 


Attending this event requires no skating experience! Astro Skate has "skate mates" that anyone can use to help them get comfortable. The skaters love using them to get around independently and it's much easier for mom and dad! Even if you are already signed up with APD or have an ABLE account, we hope you will come out and join us for some fun anyway - register below!
T21 Social Network (18+)
Calling our 18+ members! Join us for an awesome arts and crafts event at Nailed It located in Waterford Lakes!

Date: Saturday, September 25
Time: 2:45 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Nailed It DIY Studio
Address: 12789 Waterford Lakes Parkway, Suite 6
Orlando, FL 32828
Cost: The FOUNDATION will cover the cost of Nailed It and pizza!

Join us for a fun afternoon of crafting with friends! Nailed It will allow your creativity to fly as you paint, stencil, and create your very own unique work of art. After we are done creating, we will enjoy pizza! We cannot wait to see you then!
Club 321 (middle and high school)
Middle and high school members - join us for a matinee and pizza!

Date: Sunday, September 26
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: TBD (Winter Park Village or Fashion Square Mall)
Cost: The FOUNDATION will cover the admission to the movies. Please bring money if you wish to purchase snacks at the movie theater or if you want to join us for lunch!

We will see you on Sunday, September 26 for a matinee and lunch at Regal Cinema in Winter Park OR Premier Cinema 14 at Fashion Square Mall in Orlando (location and movie TBD in a few weeks). Register below for a fun afternoon with friends!

Scholarships are available to cover the cost of lunch. Please contact Robin at Robin.Longley@dsfflorida.org for more information.
Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Bowl-A-Thon kick-off celebration!
"Celebrate good times, come on!" - register today!

Date: Friday, October 8
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Winter Park Community Center
Address: 721 W New England Ave. Winter Park, FL 32789

Join us for an unforgettable night for our members and their immediate family of music, dancing, food, and more. Get to know other amazing members in our community while cutting a rug! Be sure to register TODAY - this is a party you do not want to miss. Let's celebrate the lucky few while moving and grooving at our annual Down Syndrome Awareness Month & 2022 Bowl-A-Thon kick-off celebration!
Neurodevelopmental Approach with Kay Ness
Kay Ness will return to Orlando from
November 1-12

For over 60 years, the neurodevelopmental approach to working with learning, mobility, speech, language, processing and attention problems, has been offering hope to parents of children who have received a variety of labels. 
 
This program has helped many children with various learning abilities make advancements in academic gains, sensory issues and behavior modification and other areas through the innovative and personalized programs by Kay Ness.   
 
People trained in the neurodevelopmental approach look at the causes, train the parents to work with their child at home to address the problems, and also accelerate academics to help the child catch up. By addressing root causes of learning and developmental problems, Kay has helped many many families help their loved ones reach levels of achievement that was thought impossible.


Contact Kay at KNess@mindspring.com to schedule an evaluation.
Register today - Camping Jamboree 2021
Reserve your campsite and RV site TODAY for one of our most anticipated events of the year!

What: Camping Jamboree 2021
When: Friday, November 5th - Sunday, November 7th
Where: Jetty Park Campground, 9035 Campground Circle,
Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

We cannot wait to camp with you! Join The FOUNDATION for an unforgettable weekend at Jetty Park (where the cruise ships go out to sea) for the whole family. The FOUNDATION will provide breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner on Saturday night. We rent beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and kayaks for a fantastic time. This is the perfect way for you to get away with loved ones while making new friends and memories!

Want to join us for just a day? There is a day visit option for non-campers! Families can come out for the day on Saturday to join us at the beach and for dinner. You will still experience a great day getting to know families and enjoy the beach at Jetty Park - register today!

Registration Deadlines: 
  • Friday, October 1 - Last day to reserve your RV camping spot.
  • Friday, October 15 - Last day to receive a limited edition camping T-Shirt.
  • Friday, October 29 - Last day to register for camping!

Virtual Zumba with Elyse!
When: Select Tuesdays
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing:

Elyse Mundelein will be teaching a virtual Zumba class! We will post the Zoom information of the event below or on our private Facebook page. No experience needed, just get ready to dance and have fun!
Upcoming dates:

  • Tuesday, September 14
  • Tuesday, September 21
  • Tuesday, September 28
Virtual Club 321
Join our Club 321 virtual meet-up for middle and high-schoolers!
When: Every Wednesday
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing,

This is a great opportunity for our middle and high school group to socialize, engage, and connect with each other. We'll have something new and different each week!
Upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, September 8 - Safari Exploration - All About Animals!
  • Wednesday, September 15 - Drawing 101
  • Wednesday, September 22 - Trivia and Scavenger Hunt
  • Wednesday, September 29 - Karaoke!
Virtual T21 Social Network (18+)
When: Every Thursday
Time: 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing,

This is a great opportunity for our adult group to socialize, engage, and connect with each other. We'll have something new and different each week!
Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday, September 9 - Workout with The FOUNDATION
  • Thursday, September 16 - Karaoke
  • Thursday, September 23 - Bingo!
  • Thursday, September 30 - All About Theater
F^3 : Who? What? Where? When? & WHY?
When: Select Fridays
Time: 4:00pm - 4:30pm and 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - the link can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing,

POWER UP and BUILD friendships!
This program will provide the building blocks for small groups to form relationships and friendships in a virtual environment. Sessions are capped at 5 participants to allow for deeper engagement and a more personal experience. We'll build conversational skills and independence with the goal of forming true friendships over time. Each session will be offered to different age groups. Ex: Girls aged 11-14 for one session and boys aged 15-18 for a different session, women 25-30, etc.


Schedule:

September 10
4:00 pm - Girls ages 15-18
4:30 pm - Boys ages 15-18

September 17
4:00 pm - Women ages 19-25
4:30 pm - Men ages 19-25

September 24
4:00 pm - Women & Men ages 25-30
4:30 pm - Women & Men ages 31+
Did You Know?
Your loved one with Down syndrome can begin receiving counseling services to plan for adulthood starting at age 14.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Pre-Employment Transition Services must be offered to students with disabilities without requiring them to apply for or be determined eligible for these services.

WIOA established Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) as the primary agency for preparing youth with disabilities for employment while the youth are still in high school, including being able to access services while pursuing postsecondary education (trade, college, or university). VR will deliver specific Pre-Employment Transition Services including:

  • Career Exploration Counseling
  • Work Readiness Training
  • Self-Advocacy Training
  • Postsecondary Educational Counseling
  • Community-Based Work Experiences

To facilitate the delivery of these services, VR designed the web-based platform, STAR (Student Transition Activities Record). STAR is VR's new IT application designed to help VR staff and school district's work together as they help youth through the program.


The link above includes information about traditional VR and the STAR Program, so you can select the program that's right for you. Both offer pre-employment transition services that will prepare your loved one for the future.
Technology Corner
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