As our son happens to have Down’s syndrome we are members of the the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), a UK charity (Registered Charity No. 1061474) that exists to provide information and support for people with Down’s syndrome, their families, carers and those with a professional interest. It also seeks to improve knowledge and understanding and champion the rights of people with Down’s syndrome.
To help people with Down’s syndrome to live full and rewarding lives
The DSA are the only organisation in the UK focusing solely on all aspects of living successfully with Down’s syndrome. Since 1970, they have grown from being a local parent support group to a national charity with over 20,000 members, a national office in Teddington Middlesex, offices in Northern Ireland and Wales and a regional development team. Despite this, the organisation is run by a total staff of only 38 (many of them part time), and a network of around 100 regional volunteer-led support groups.
- To provide information and support for people with Down’s syndrome, their families and carers, as well as being a resource for interested professionals
- To strive to improve knowledge of the condition
- To champion the rights of people with Down’s syndrome.
The organisation is divided into various teams, including:
- Information – run the helpline; provide info about all aspects of living with Down’s syndrome including welfare, education and health; advise new parents or anyone experiencing difficulties
- Fundraising – responsible for raising money for the association through events, sponsorship and trusts
- Communications – give key messages to the media, public and professionals; influence policy making; reponsible for external publications
- Training – run courses throughout the UK for members, professionals and carers
- Membership – responsible for all administration surrounding new members, existing members and affiliated groups.
Langdon Down Centre
In January 2004 the DSA moved to new premises at the Langdon Down Centre, the former home of pioneering Victorian physician, Dr John Langdon Down, after whom Down’s syndrome was named.