Will Your Team be A Part of This Year’s

“Fabulous 15”

15th Annual Buddy Walk • Saturday, November 4, 2017
Jacksonville Beach Seawalk Pavillion

The first 15 teams to raise $3,500 will be part of this year’s “Fabulous 15” and will be honored on our “Fabulous 15” banner at the Buddy Walk®

DSAJ Wellness and Fitness Program

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville is proud to once again offer you our Wellness & Fitness program in partnership with Weight Watchers! This 12-week program will be hosted at the Arc Jacksonville Village (3675 Kirbo Way, Jacksonville, 32244- neighborhood located behind the Target shopping center on Beach & Hodges) beginning Tuesday, September 19,  2017 from 3:45-5:15 pm.  Ages 16 & Up. MORE

Wine Down For Down Syndrome

Wine and Appetizer tasing provided by Table 1
330 A1A N Ponte Vedra, FL 32082

Monday October 2

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
$25 Presale or At the Door

Connectable Jax

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

DSAJ Interns

Meet the DSAJ’s first four paid interns:
Randy, Robert, Ciara and Cara!

Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The DSAJ is beyond grateful to Michelle Whitten and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation for awarding our association with a 10K grant to support our Employment Career Solutions Training Program. Thank you for recognizing and supporting our efforts with helping individuals with Down syndrome find meaningful employment!

"Working Towards Success"

Employment Readiness Course

Our teens and adults have fun while learning essential employability skills in our “Working Towards Success”  workshop series! This 6-week course is offered to individuals ages 16 and up who are working towards a goal of employment.

Down at the Dock Derby

Jacksonville Marine Charities and The Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament hosted another amazing “Down at The Dock Fishing Derby” for the DSAJ! This fishing derby gives individuals the opportunity to experience the excitement of fishing down on the docks at Sisters Creek Park. Thank you to everyone who helped make the event a success: 121 Financial Credit Union, Academy Sports +Outdoors, Adkison Towing and Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning! The day was a total blast!!

Illuminate the Night

What a Great Night! We raised over $12,000 to support the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville.

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

ABLE United…
…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.

Many employers offer matching-gift programs, and will match any charitable contributions made by their associates, and sometimes their retirees. These programs can double, and even triple, the impact your gift can have on our organization! Ask your personnel department or human resources representative for more details.
Although the DSAJ is not a United Way-funded agency, you can designate Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville to be a recipient of your gift made through payroll deductions, or as an outright donation. Simply write in Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, 630 May Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204 in the Donor Choice designation section of the United Way pledge form, and let us know about your designation so we can look for your gift.

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

NewbornNewborn - 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.

ToddlerAges 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.

TeensAges 13-18
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!

AdultgroupAges 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.

NorthernstarsNassau & 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.

Adults
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.

New & Expectant Parents

It is never easy to learn that your child has or may have Down syndrome.

Find Out More