A world where our children, our brothers, our sisters, and our friends who have Down Syndrome are included in all aspects of life, are empowered to meet their needs and are recognized for their contributions.
1. BRING THE ABLE ACT TO CONNECTICUT! All Week — Send in testimony to support HB 7038 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TAX-FREE ACCOUNTS TO PROVIDE FOR DISABILITY RELATED EXPENSES PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL ABLE ACT.
Thank you to Representative Gail Lavielle for her advocacy and for raising this important bill! CT families will be able to take advantage of the ABLE Act to establish tax-free accounts to pay disability related expenses!
Send testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org testimony can submitted today and throughout the week.
2. Wednesday, April 8 — #People Matter Press Conference – 10:30 am – Legislative Office Building, Room 2C
Nonprofit providers will be joined by legislators, self-advocates, families and labor unions at a press conference to kick-off lobby day under the umbrella message that People Matter. The goal of this event, and the #PeopleMatter coalition, is to ensure that nonprofit programs and services are priorities included in the Appropriations Committee’s Recommended Budget.
#PeopleMatter is a coalition of nonprofit providers including, but not limited to The CT Community Providers Association (CCPA), CT Nonprofits,The Arc Connecticut, NAMI CT, Oak Hill School, CT Council of Family Service Agencies, HARC, 1199/SEIU, 1199/OFCW and others.
3. Thursday, April 9 — Defining the Path: A Discussion with National Policy Expert Allan Bergman – 9:30am – 1:30pm – Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford (morning coffee and lunch provided with RSVP)
- Why is CT, once considered a leader in providing services for people with I/DD, falling behind?
- How are other states expanding services while also dealing with budget issues.
- How can Connecticut, like other states, close institutions in a way that expands services and takes care of the needs of all involved?
- How can we push our leaders to properly fund services and stop balancing the budget on the backs of people with I/DD?
RSVP to Donna Devin, Program Assistant, CT Council on Developmental Disabilities at 860-418-8737 or email@example.com
This event is presented by The Arc Connecticut Families for Families, The Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the University of Connecticut Centers of Excellence.
4. April 9 — Newtown Family Forum – 6:30pm-8:00pm – CH Booth Library Community Room, 25 Main St., Newtown
Families of people with I/DD are still reeling from the drastic cuts in services in the Governor’s proposed budget including:
- No funding for Day supports for new high school graduates
- 60% cut to the Voluntary Services Program (VSP)
- Cuts to in Respite funding
The Arc is co-sponsoring a community forum with I/DD Caucus members Senator Hwang and Representative Bolinsky for families to ask questions, talk about how the cuts will impact their loved ones and to make a plan stop the cuts.
SAVE THE DATE! #People Matter Coalition Rally – May 7
What do you plan to do? From celebrating in community, and acts of kindness to learning and advocating for a brighter future, we’ve got lots of ideas!
Join the CDSC and 21 Strong at the World Down Syndrome Celebration at the New Canaan YMCA.
A yearly community favorite, this event is sure to bring smiles to faces of all ages while raising awareness. Loads of family-friendly activities, music, snacks and more from 2-4 p.m. at the New Canaan YMCA, 564 South Avenue.
For information or to pre-register, contact Susan Schuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share 21 Acts of Kindness in Honor of Your Loved One with Down Syndrome!
Six national Down syndrome organizations in the United States (National Down Syndrome Congress, Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action, Global Down Syndrome Foundation, International Down Syndrome Coalition, International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association, Lumind Foundation, National Down Syndrome Society) have created a toolkit for WDSD 2015 that you can use to share information about Down syndrome with your community, celebrate people with Down syndrome, and spread a little love and kindness in the name of Down syndrome!
It’s easy as 1-2-3-4!
Take a Trip to the United Nations — in Person or Virtually
This year marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and the 21st anniversary year of the ‘International Year of the Family.”
The WDSD conference at the United Nations will focus on the role of families and the positive contribution that they can make toward the enjoyment of full and equal rights for people with Down syndrome.
You can register to attend the conference in person, or you can watch it [online].(https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/wdsd-conference.)
Have a Little Fun and Show off Your Craziest Socks
Wear the wackiest socks you can find — brightly colored socks, long socks, printed socks, 1 sock…maybe even 3 socks for 3 chromosomes. If you don’t normally wear socks then wear them!
Learn a Little
Sign up for the 2015 321 Online eConference.
eConference registration gives live access to 63 sessions over 3 days. It also includes access to recordings of the sessions for 60 days. Once you register, you can select the sessions you wish to attend. Sessions begin March 21. Click here for details and registration.
The CDSC is volunteer-driven, and we need your help. We are seeking volunteers for the following committees:
The Buddy Walk Committee – . If you love counting hotdogs, stuffing goody bags, and setting up and breaking down tents, the Buddy Walk Committee is the place for you!
The Buddy Walk, our biggest event and our largest fundraiser, kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in Connecticut. It’s a great time for all, but we need volunteers behind the scenes and on the ground the day of the event to make it happen. We’re looking for people who can help a little, and people who can help a lot.
The Convention Committee – Our Annual Convention is our most important educational event. This year will be our 30th convention and we want it to be the best one yet!
County Family Support Leaders – Some of our county leaders are stepping down. We have openings in Middlesex County, New London County, and, possible Windham-Tolland County. The basics of the job vary, depending on what the needs of your county are. If families need playgroups, you might help them connect and find a place to meet. If Moms need a night out, you might help with the arrangements for that. If folks in your neck of the woods are go-getters, maybe you could help arrange a CDSC fundraiser! Make it as little or as much as you have time for. Co-leaders are encouraged, so bring or make a friend!
For information on volunteering contact Shanon at email@example.com
Tell Your Legislator to Restore Funding to DDS!
The Governor’s Budget Proposal would eliminate employment support and day program funding for students graduating from high school, beginning this June.
The Appropriations Health and Hospitals subcommittee is amending the Department of Developmental Services budget, after hearing public testimony last week. Contact your legislators and tell them what a waste of years of education and resources this will be for young people with special needs and how devastating it will be for their families! Ask them to use their influence to convince members of the subcommittee that they need to restore funding for these services. Find your legislator here.