Welcome to the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville
In 1989, the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville was founded by a handful of families who recognized the need to have a support group in the Jacksonville community. The focus was, and continues to be, to provide awareness and education and to help individuals with Down syndrome reach their potential. Our association has continued to grow with over 1,500 individuals, families and community members.
In The News
September Teen Social
Our teens had a blast learning some Tae Kwon Do techniques with Master Steve and Yesha Ministries at our September social! Special thanks to Gwendi, one of our DSAJ Adults, who helped instruct the class. Gwendi is a black belt with Yesha Ministries and is so awesome to watch in action!
Wellness & Fitness
Our Wellness & Fitness Group has been off to a fabulous start! Each week we do a different type of exercise before our Weight Watcher’s Meeting. We have done Zumba, Tae Kwon Do with Teresa, CrossFit, Circuit Training and more!
2016 Basketball Banquet
The DSAJ ended a great Basketball season with our annual Basketball Banquet…pizza, trophies and (best of all) friends made for a fun night of celebrating months of team work and effort! As always, a HUGE thanks to Coach JP for being the best!
Adult Social Group
Our Adult Group went down to Neptune Beach for our September Social! We got in some fitness with a one-mile beach walk followed by lunch at M*Shack and (shhh!) a little dessert at Whit’s Frozen Custard!
July 21, 2016
…save for a better life experience.
The purpose of an ABLE account is to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds to help individuals with disabilities cover costs that support their health, independence and quality of life.
DEBBIE REVELS REPRESENTS JACKSONVILLE AS ABLE UNITED OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES IN FLORIDA
DSAJ Executive Director stands alongside Senate President for ABLE United Florida Launch on July 7th in Tallahassee
Jacksonville, FL – The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville’s Executive Director Debbie Revels was honored to join Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner, government officials, and supporters of ABLE United in Tallahassee today for the official launch of the new tax-free savings plan for individuals with unique abilities. ABLE United offers new opportunities for Floridians with disabilities to enhance financial support, independence, and quality of life pursuant to the Florida Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Under the program, Floridians with disabilities will now be able to enroll in a tax-free savings and investment account without negatively impacting their government benefits.
The statewide launch marks Florida’s standing among the first states in our country to implement and launch the program. Ms. Revels joined ABLE Act champions, Senate President Andy Gardiner, Representative Ray Rodrigues, Kevin Thompson, Director of the ABLE United Program and Michael Roush, Director of the National Disability Institute Real Economic Impact Network for today’s press conference and launch. The DSAJ will be hosting events in Jacksonville to help local families navigate the sign-up process. For more information on ABLE United or to enroll today, visit www.ableunited.com.
Ways to Help
Why Donate to DSAJ?
People often say they give in order to “make a difference.” This phrase means different things to different people. By donating to the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville (DSAJ), it means you WILL be making a difference and helping us fulfill our mission to empower individuals, educate families, enhance communities and together, celebrate the extraordinary lives of people with Down syndrome. Your donation, enables us to do such things as offer educational workshops for parents and self-advocates on hot topics, subsidized funding for a variety of programs, some of which include; speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, computer skills training, sports programs, wellness/fitness programs (Cheerleading, Basketball, Soccer and Weight Watchers) and age appropriate social activities. These are just few ways in which your giving will make a difference! To those of you have supported the DSAJ in the past – thank you! We hope that your generosity towards our mission continues. To those of you who may be first-time donors, I urge you to explore our website to learn more about our programs and how we strive to serve individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
Thank you for considering the DSAJ regarding volunteer opportunities. We offer monthly socials for all age groups. Occasionally we will need volunteers for these events. We also have some larger events throughout the year that we need volunteers for.
Please complete our online Volunteer Application here and we will be in touch with you shortly. All information is kept strictly confidential and we thank you for your interest in helping the DSAJ.
Like to shop? The AmazonSmile program will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charity of your choice. Visit them HERE and make sure to select the DSAJ as your charity of choice.
The DSAJ is very grateful for our past and current sponsors, and has numerous opportunities for future sponsorship, including our annual Golf Classic, Buddy Walk, Basketball Program, DSAJ STARZ, and World Down Syndrome Day. For more information about specific opportunities, please contact Jennie Ponder, DSAJ Operations Manager, or call our office at: 904-353-6300. OUR VALUED SPONSORS
Family Social Groups
Newborn - Age 5
The Lil’ Stars group is geared towards parents expecting a baby with Down syndrome and parents of children that are newborn to age five. The children, siblings and grandparents are welcome and encouraged to attend. We also encourage and promote all members to attend these meetings. Although the focus is on our newest and youngest members, we can all benefit from getting to know one another and sharing knowledge. Our meetings are informal and often include a guest speaker on topics of interest to the group. There is also time to socialize and enjoy being with each other’s children.
Please come and share your ideas, support and parenting ideas with others. This group is led by Desiree Jomant. Contact Desiree at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list.
Ages 6 - 12
DSAJ’s Shining Stars group is comprised of children between the ages of 6 and 12. The group’s purpose is to provide social and informational activities throughout the course of the year for both the children and their families. The children enjoy the fun activities, which are designed to enhance physical and social development. We encourage parents, grandparents, family members and friends to attend as well. Periodically, we bring speakers and educators in to discuss various topics that are helpful and keep our members up to date.
This group is led by Cheryl English. Contact Debbie Revels at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list.
DSAJ’s Teen Group is alive and well. Fun outings are planned for those ages 13 – 17 with Down syndrome to meet and enjoy each other’s company while participating in a range of activities. The purpose of this group is to provide socialization within the community and opportunities for friendships to develop. Join us to make friends, develop confidence & self-esteem, practice social skills and most of all – HAVE FUN!
The group is led by Dani Frei. Contact Debbie Revels at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list. Parents are encouraged to drop off their teens to foster independence and to give both the parent and teen respite!
Ages 18 - Up
This Group is an awesome group of friends. We provide a safe, supervised way for young adults with Down syndrome to meet and enjoy each other’s company while participating in a range of activities. The purpose of this group is to provide socialization within the community and opportunities for friendships to develop. Join us to make friends, develop confidence and self-esteem, practice social skills and, most of all, HAVE FUN!
This group is led by Desiree Jomant. Contact Debbie Revels at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list.
Nassau & Camden Counties
This group is designed for fun. We encourage all of our members who live in Nassau County or Camden County to participate in the socials planned for this group. This group is led by Vanessa Brock and Desiree Jomant. Contact Debbie Revels at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list.
Are you in St. Johns or Clay County?
This group is forming now to plan fun activities for those in St. Johns’s County and Clay County. This group will be led by Joanne Alicea. Contact Debbie Revels at the DSAJ office at 904.353.6300 or via email to be added to the contact list.