Programs & Resources

Angels Among UsHospital and Home Visits with New Families – Our goal is to reach every family in our area who has a child with Down syndrome.

  • We provide new parent tote bags to children in AZ who are born with Down syndrome.
  • These bags include several books on raising a child with Down syndrome, a Baby Signing Times DVD, a onesie, a t-shirt, a journal and a handmade blanket.  Our new parent kits are valued around $100-125.
  • In 2020, we visited 112 families in 29 cities and the Navajo Nation.
  • Babies with Down syndrome can have medical challenges, like heart defects, intestinal, respiratory problems, developmental delays, hearing/vision impairments. All of this is overwhelming to a new parent – and that is the time where we step in to help.
  • Our visits offer hope and empowerment and we let the family know we support them in the days and years ahead.
We visit families in the hospital and provide whatever support they need.

 

Stand Up for Down Syndrome: Educational Advocacy – Our goal is to give children with Down syndrome the most inclusive education possible so that they may grow up to fulfill their dreams and become self-advocates.

  • We provide educational advocacy for (5) families per year through Susan Marks & Advocates.
  • Families come to us when they are no longer able to rectify a school situation in which their child is not being fully included in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
  • We are the first line of support and we work with Susan Marks and Advocates to offer solutions.

Annual Social Events and Outreach: Our goal is to provide support across the lifespan and have people view Down syndrome with a new, more forward thinking perspective without the old limitations and stigmas.

  • Sharing Walks have been happening for more than 20 years and each year, the celebration focuses on community members who are making a difference, families who love their journeys (even during some tough times) and organizations committed to helping people with Down syndrome through their activities, funding and sponsorship.
  • We also host Christmas parties, Easter parties, parent forums, and we coordinate playgroups, online zoom classes, Moms Mixer’s, Dads Groups outings and Club 3/21 events.
  • We also make regular visits to Arizona State University and the Mayo Clinic to have our self advocates with Down syndrome speak about their lives with Down syndrome.  These discussions have been described as ‘life changing’.

Our West Valley Holiday party in 2019

A Board member and volunteer started the ‘Hip Hop Homies with Extra Chromies’ dance group in 2018. We hope to offer more programs like this that are fun, social and provide regular physical activity. In 2020, we coordinated with another volunteer an online yoga class via Zoom during the pandemic.

 

Resources

Arizona Early Intervention Program

After you become the parent of a child with Down syndrome, you may wonder, ‘What do I do first?’

A good place to start is with the AzEIP. You can call them at 602-635-9799. Click on the box ‘Refer a Child online’ to begin the application process.

This program is under the Arizona Division of Developmental Disabilities Program. AzIEP covers all children who have disabilities from birth to 2 years and 10.5 months of age. By law, this program is here to help you obtain therapies for your child, including Speech, Occupational and Physical. These are home-based services.

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

Arizona’s Medicaid agency that offers health care programs to serve Arizona residents.

The Department of Economic Security

DES works with families, community organizations, advocates, and state and federal partners to ensure that every child, adult, and family in Arizona will be safe and economically secure.

Provider List

View a list of providers for services for people with development disabilities

Social Security Disability Information

The Social Security Administration provides disability benefits to Americans suffering from conditions that limit them from Substantial Gainful Activity.

On this site, you can find information on how to apply for SSI and gain other insight into services for people with disabilities.

Educational Advocates: Susan Marks & Advocates

Susan Marks & Advocates is an Arizona-based law firm and advocacy group devoted to addressing issues arising from having a disability.

Legal Advocates: Phelps LeClair Law

Phelps LeClair Law is a local law firm that has been providing estate planning services to its clients for over 40 years in Arizona.

National Down Syndrome Congress

The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to an improved world for individuals with Down syndrome.

Founded in 1973, NDSC is the leading national resource of support and information for anyone touched by or seeking to learn about Down syndrome, from the moment of prenatal diagnosis through adulthood.

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is a public non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to significantly improving the lives of people with Down syndrome through Research, Medical Care, Education, and Advocacy.

Formally established in 2009, Global’s primary focus is to support the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the first academic home in the United States committed solely to research and medical care for people with Down syndrome.

TASH (The Association for the Severely Handicapped)

The Association for the Severely Handicapped is an international leader in disability advocacy.

Founded in 1975, TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect, and institutionalization.

TASH works to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, policy, and information and resources for parents, families, and self-advocates.

Food Banks

If you or someone you know needs assistance with food insecurity, there are community food banks in the area that will help: St. Mary’s Food Bank, St. Vincent De Paul, United Food Bank, Arizona Midwest Food Bank.

Multiple Services

If any of our families need extra support, you may want to look into the Maricopa County Public Health website and Facebook page.

The organization created a resource to connect residents with free or low-cost services, including mental health care, rent assistance, childcare, and more. Visit FindHelpPhx.org to learn more.

Reece's Rainbow - International Adoption for Down syndrome

Reece’s Rainbow advocates and finds families for orphans internationally with Down syndrome and other special needs by raising funds for adoption grants and promoting awareness through an online community, media communications, and other events.

National Down Syndrome Adoption Network

National Down Syndrome Adoption Network provides information to birth and adoptive families who wish to make a domestic adoption plan for a child with Down syndrome.