The MDSC is proud to offer a wide-range of programs that serve and improve the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families throughout the state.
Parents First Call
With the advent of new prenatal tests for Down syndrome, parents are increasingly likely to receive a prenatal diagnosis. These technological innovations create great opportunity for expectant parents, but can also raise questions (and anxiety). Our Parents First Call program can answer those questions and put you at ease.
The MDSC hosts two major conferences annually that draw participants from across New England, our Annual Conference and our Annual Educators Forum. These conferences allow the MDSC to reach out to teens and adults with Down syndrome, parents, grandparents and siblings of children with Down syndrome, therapists and educators.
Teen & Adult Programs
The MDSC has several programs for teens and adults with Down syndrome in Massachusetts. All of our programs promise to help you make connections to peers with and without disabilities, learn about your own unique skills, interests, and abilities, strengthen your sense of confidence and self-esteem and empower yourself to become a strong self-advocate. These programs include Advocates in Motion (AIM), the Self-Advocate Advisory Council (SAAC), and the Self-Advocate Workshop Track of our Annual Conference.
The MDSC Buddy Walk® Program gives individuals, schools, community groups, and local businesses across the state an opportunity to get involved in fundraising campaigns and events year-round. The statewide campaign is anchored by our signature Buddy Walk & Family Picnic, but also includes major and minor events throughout the year in Massachusetts.
Health Care Professionals
The MDSC offers a range of programs and resources to guide health care professionals and help them better serve people with Down syndrome. This includes Grand Rounds trainings, continuing education opportunities, and a wealth of information about everything from delivering a Down syndrome diagnosis, to health risks and recommendations for newborns to referrals for new parents and area Down syndrome clinics and programs.
The MDSC is at the forefront of legislative policy both at the state and national levels. Our Legislative Advocacy Task Force mobilizes our membership to advocate for policies and bills that will benefit people with Down syndrome. Working in conjunction with the MDSC Executive Director and management team, the task force selects bills for our statewide platform and helps advance bills on both our state and federal platforms.
Diversity Outreach and Support
The MDSC Diversity Outreach Committee meets regularly to explore how to encourage inclusion and remove barriers to participation in MDSC activities. The committee’s goal is to make all families feel welcome and to find ways to meet their needs, whatever they may be. To this end, the MDSC hosts multi-cultural diversity events, sponsors support groups and makes every effort to make all activities and events accessible to all.
Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (DADS)
An affiliate of the MDSC, Massachusetts D.A.D.S. is made up of fathers of children with Down syndrome who gather regularly to assist and support each other and their families through fellowship and action.
Down Syndrome-Autism Connection
An affiliate of the MDSC, DSAC has 30 active families who meet once monthly by online chat to discuss the issues and challenges unique to the Down Syndrome-Autism community. Experts in the field often present on various topics relating to dual diagnosis. New members are welcome.