Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee
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615-454-3129
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1310 Central Court
Hermitage, TN 37076
Organization Details

Statements

Mission

The Mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is:To ensure individuals with Down syndrome are valued for their extraordinary gifts and contributions, empowering them to pursue meaningful, included lives by providing education, advocacy, support and community for people with Down syndrome and their families, and serving as a resource for educators, healthcare professionals, employers and the entire Middle Tennessee community.

Background

DSAMT was formed in 1995 by a group of parents with children with Down syndrome. The organization has grown from a network of about 25 families in 1998, to a membership of more than 5,000 community members today. DSAMT is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, led by a fifteen-member Board of Directors and the Executive Director. DSAMT is affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Society, the National Down Syndrome Congress ad Global Down Syndrome. These national organizations provide DSAMT with current up-to-date information on research, advocacy and policy issues concerning individuals with Down syndrome. DSAMT works closely with the Disability Coalition of TN, The Arc of Tennessee, GiGi's Playhouse Nashville, the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities and other disability organizations locally and nationally. DSAMT has become the leading resource for parents in Middle Tennessee for accurate and up-to-date information on Down syndrome issues. DSAMT envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to realize their life aspirations. To that end, we provide: 1. First Call Program - helping families with a new diagnosis, those new to the area and with secondary diagnoses;2. School Partnership Program - supporting educators with training and resources;3. Medial Partnership Program - supporting the medical community with training and resources;4. Employer Partnership Program - supporting the business community to facilitate competitive employment opportunities;5. Advocacy - supporting individuals with DS and their families to advocate for inclusion and acceptance; educating the community on key issues and working with legislators;6. Education - providing caregivers with training and resources;7. Community - connecting families to our others in our community, resources, activities and support; and8. Inclusive Programs - providing inclusive, educational, employment and social opportunities.

Impact

DSAMT has recently launched its new website and resource center, providing families with the most up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive information available for Middle Tn on Down syndrome. Additionally, it launched an outreach effort specifically to spanish-speaking families, which includes informational materials for newly diagnosed families, a support group and parent mentors, as well as a dedicated phone line to connect directly to other spanish-speaking mentors. It also launched its first employment initiative, hiring four adults with Down syndrome! In 2018, DSAMT has advocated for successful passage of the Down Syndrome Information Act in the TN General Assembly, which requires the TN Department of Health to make available on its website up-to-date information on Down syndrome and the TN support groups. This legislation will have a tremendous impact on families who receive the diagnosis state-wide. Current goals include 1) expansion of our employment program 'Pepe's with a Purpose' to employ more individuals with DS; 2) raise funds to purchase property to be used for a Down syndrome enrichment center and office; 3) outreach to medical professionals in all 41 counties so that every OBGYN and Pediatrician has knowledge of the newly passed DS Information Act and access to DSAMT New & Expecting Parent Guide; 4) expansion of our parent support groups; 5) fundraising to support an educator conference to give them the tools needed to maximize the progress of exceptional learners in the classroom.

Needs

DSAMT's most pressing need is to maintain funding to support ongoing programs, and to increase funding in order to expand opportunities for direct service in the community. Please visit our website for more information about how you can help. https://www.somethingextra.org/ways-to-help/

CEO Statement

The Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee is unique. Our staff is committed to being available at any time to speak with educators, parents and families to discuss life issues and find resolutions. Our member families act as ambassadors in the community, supporting one another and advocating for their loved ones with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is considered a disability by many, but at DSAMT we focus on the strengths and abilities of all people. We know that people with Down syndrome are not defined by the number of chromosomes in their DNA; they are individuals, each with unique talents, interests, and capabilities. DSAMT continues to further faith and confidence in our families and members by offering creative opportunities and programs for them to explore. We hope to reach all Middle Tennesseans through our advocacy efforts and that our community will continue to view people with Down syndrome as active and valuable citizens.


Service Categories

Primary Category: Human Services  - Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers 
Secondary Category: Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy  - Disabled Persons' Rights 
Tertiary Category: Community Improvement, Capacity Building  - Community & Neighborhood Development 

Areas Served

While based in Davidson county, the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee serves all forty one counties that make up the Middle Tennessee region.

TN - Davidson
TN - Williamson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Wilson
TN - Sumner
TN - Cannon
TN - Cheatham
TN - Clay
TN - Coffee
TN - Cumberland
TN - Davidson
TN - DeKalb
TN - Dickson
TN - Fentress
TN - Franklin
TN - Giles
TN - Hickman
TN - Houston
TN - Humphreys
TN - Lawrence
TN - Lewis
TN - Lincoln
TN - Macon
TN - Maury
TN - Montgomery
TN - Moore
TN - Overton
TN - Perry
TN - Pickett
TN - Putnam
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Smith
TN - Stewart
TN - Sumner
TN - Trousdale
TN - Van Buren
TN - Warren
TN - Wayne
TN - White
TN - Williamson
TN - Wilson
TN - Bedford