March Newsletter

What's News?

CEO Update
The latest video from CEO, Darryl Steff is live!  This month it’s all about how DSQ are focusing on the impact of services and supports and not just outputs! Be sure to check it out here.   To suggest a topic please email

Two New Board Members
Following a rigorous process, DSQ Chairperson David Fuller has announced the appointment of two new Directors - Kim Stokes and David Cahill. Welcome! Read more about our new directors here.

New Role with Travel Training
Casey Northam has recently accepted the role of Travel Training Project Officer.  Casey will be focused on the development and growth of the Travel Training program working with Autism Queensland to further develop the program, ensure its sustainability, its relevance to people with Down syndrome and to roll it out in other regions (Gold Coast, Ipswich and Sunshine Coast initially but then potentially further afield). For more information on the Travel Training program and how to register please visit this link or email

Lady Grady Golf Day Fundraising
DSQ attended the Lady Grady golf day early this month and accepted a cheque for $10,000! Thank you to Lady Grady Social Club for supporting DSQ for over 15 years and for this generous donation.

An Update on DSQ & Coronavirus

Need more 'easy read' information about Coronavirus? The Growing Space have released a wonderful resource to help individuals with disabilities understand how to keep healthy and understand the virus. You can download it here

DSQ are currently monitoring QLD Health guidelines about whether it is appropriate for groups of people to be meeting. At this stage it is business as usual and all DSQ events will continue as planned. We hope it doesn’t become necessary to cancel any events or activities, but each day, we will look at the latest advice and make decisions as we go forward.

Sleep Survey Participation
Queensland Children's Hospital Sleep Medicine Department is currently undertaking research about sleep problems in children with Down syndrome. The information you provide will be used for this research in a de-identified way. If you’re interested in participating, click here
Support Services
Voting for people with Down syndrome
In consideration of the Local Government Elections being held on Saturday 28th March 2020, we thought it would be helpful to revisit the resources that are available to assist people with disabilities to vote.

Down Syndrome Australia have previously written an article on people with intellectual disability having the right to vote.  It also has information about what you can do to be able to vote – check it out here. The AEC also have some easy read resources available here on their website regarding:
  • How to enrol to vote
  • How to vote at a polling place
  • How to vote by mail 
Happy Voting!
Mater Research - Mental Health in Individuals with Ds

Housing Information Sessions

How do I support my family member to move out of home and live independently?  Where would they live and with whom?  What will their support look like on a day-to-day basis?  This conversation is one that needs to start early and on an on-going basis.  Through our series of Housing Information Sessions being offered by DSQ this year, we hope to provide information to families to help navigate this process a little easier. Click here for more information.
A note from NDIS Support Coordinator, Carolyn Jackson
As the DSQ Support Coordinator (SC), I play a unique and important role in a person’s NDIS journey.  My last role was working for a NDIS provider, so I only got a glimpse into the participant’s life, but now as a SC, I get to be part of the whole picture. I have to consider the person’s goals, interests and vision of their future. In short, SC works as a navigator for the NDIS and also the community and we all work together to focus on building the person’s skills and confidence to help self-direct their support as well as facilitating meaningful community involvement.
Upon meeting our participants, many have not been offered support prior to their NDIS plan so it’s a great chance for them to think about their own interests and have the opportunity to experiment and try things out for the first time.
It’s been heartening to see participants trying Zumba, Water Aerobics, attend DSQ events, going to the movies after being house bound for months, joining the Screech Theatre program, becoming fitter and stronger through working with an Exercise Physiologist, shopping for groceries and then cooking a meal.
I have also provided assistance to a participant to resolve an issue where we had to find urgent respite accommodation due to a sudden upheaval in her regular respite at the last minute.  
Sometimes the NDIS can be overwhelming, seem too difficult, too complicated but we should be saying “Let’s find a way to make this work”.

If you would like DSQ to assist you in SC, please get in contact with Carolyn at

Family Support Officer - Early Years Role
We are looking for a Family Support Officer - Early Years to join our Support Services Team - interested? Click on the link here for details on the role and how to apply.

We will also be holding an Early Years Workshop in the coming weeks - to register click here!

Regional Representative Role

We have recently been notified of a few newborn babies with Down syndrome across the state.  After the hospital has made contact we were able to link these new families in with one of our Regional Representatives. Thank you to all those involved. 
These Regional Representatives have a significant role in ensuring regional families are linked into the local Ds community. Thank you everyone who has been able to assist with this. 
The Regional Representative role is incredibly varied and hugely significant.  Regional Representatives are involved in connecting new families, organising regional events or facilitating workshops in conjunction with DSQ.  If you would like to become a regional rep, please contact Julia at
DSQ Library
The DSQ library is a great resource for families both in terms of education and building knowledge on Down syndrome related issues.  To help promote the library, particularly to new families, we are looking for feedback on your favourite resource(s).  In particular we are looking for people willing to do a short video (30 seconds) telling us what the resource is, why you like it, how did it help you and your family and what age range it suits best.  If you would like to get involved please email Julia at

NDIS Scheduled Review Workshop

An NDIS Review is something every participant with an NDIS Plan will do. The main type of review is a Scheduled Review. These are a lot like a pre-planning meeting, and happen with your LAC, ECEI Coordinator or NDIA planner. You will have a Scheduled Review meeting sometime in the lead up to your current NDIS plan expiring.
Preparing ahead for your Scheduled Review is a great way to make the most of your Review Meeting. Being prepared will give you the best shot at an NDIS plan that is right for you. So, how to prepare? DSQ is offering a free, NDIS Scheduled Review Workshop on March 16. Come along or livestream it and together we’ll work through the steps of preparing for your NDIS scheduled review.  

Register for the event here

Individual Living Options Project
DSQ recently attended a workshop by the NDIA on their ILO (Individual Living Options) project.  ILO is funding that participants are able to ask for in their NDIS plan, which focusses on working with the individual around their needs and preferences for housing.  The ILO funding will include assisting the participant with designing a flexible package of supports, which will take into consideration the best living arrangement for the individual. For more information on ILO, please visit the following website:
Fundraising and Supporting Us

World Down Syndrome Day 2020! 

It's World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. Wear crazy socks and donate a gold coin to DSQ to help raise awareness of the Ds community. Why not get your kindy, school or workplace involved? For details on how to donate and how to get a fundraising kit click the link below! #WDSD20

We also have a number of family events happening across Queensland organised by our Regional Reps – see Upcoming Events below.

WDSD Morning Tea hosted by The Governor of Queensland
We are excited this year to have a morning tea hosted by the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, and Mrs Kaye de Jersey to help raise awareness of World Down Syndrome Day.  The event is by invitation only and will be held at Government House on Friday 20 March.  Not long to go now!
Challenge Accepted!
Pictured: Dave and his grandson Noah
Dave Teuma and Sarah Harris have committed to fundraising for DSQ this year, they are doing a series of challenges throughout the year (listed below).  It’s a huge undertaking and we’re very grateful for this commitment and the funds raised.     
  • Beerwah @ Night – 10km trail run (completed 01 Feb 2020)
  • Toowoomba Peak to Park – 10km run – 01 Mar 20
  • Maximum Adventure Race (Sunshine Coast) – team event across trail running, kayaking and mountain biking – 21 Mar 20
  • The Gladiator (Beerburrum) – 15km trail run – 31 May 20
  • Brissie to Bay Bike ride – 25km – 14 Jun 20
  • The Guzzler (Mt Coot-ha) – 50km trail run – 25 Jul 20
  • Bridge to Brisbane – 10km – 23 Aug 20
 Their fundraising page is here: or Facebook page

If you’d like to do something to raise funds for DSQ, contact Maria at

Entertainment Book Discounts

Get your new Entertainment Membership today to support DSQ and receive this year's exclusive Entertainment offers. Entertainment Memberships can start anytime and are packed with thousands of substantial savings on dining, travel and fun family activities. The Membership App is easy to download to start using instantly. New offers are added weekly for ongoing value all year round. Carry savings in your pocket this year by clicking link here.

Social Programs

DSQ Teens
DSQ Teens kicked off in February with a high energy visit to Inflatable World at Wynnum.  Thirteen teenagers attended and bounced around building friendships and developing social skills.  The next DSQ Teens event, Arcade Gaming at Fortitude Valley is shaping up to be just as exciting with 12 young people registered to attend.  Some of the events planned for the rest of the year are Swimming at Southbank, visiting an Animal Farm, a Broncos match and attending the Brisbane Science Center.  For more information about DSQ Teens contact


School Year Transition
As you work through this transition into a new school year, take a moment to look at all of our Education Resources where you will find Visual supports, Vision statements, school documents, online webinars or perhaps borrow something from our library.  Alternatively, show the website to anyone who may be supporting a person with Down syndrome.
Free Upcoming Information Webinars
  1. Communication – 30th April 3:30-4:30pm
This free webinar will give details of different communication methods that can be implored with individuals who are non-verbal or limited in their verbal capacity. It will also show visuals that can be used to assist a person to express their wants, needs and desires. We will look at physical communication devices as well as electronic and signing to ensure all options are explored.
  1. Visual Supports – 14 May 3:30- 4:30pm
This free webinar will look at the visual supports that aide to engage, direct and encourage students to not only complete tasks but build independence, security and a sense of accomplishment.  We know that students with Down syndrome are visual learners (along with 65% of learners) so incorporating visual supports into classroom and home life can make a substantial impact. Not only will these visual supports help the student with Down syndrome but will impact positively on the engagement of all students if incorporated as a whole class.
  1. Positive Behaviour Supports – 4 June 3:30-4:30pm
This free webinar will look at some of the common behavioural issues that are often seen in students with Down syndrome. It will give strategies and practical examples of how-to best deal with and redirect unwanted behaviours in an educational setting as well as home.  It will also outline some of the simple thing’s educators can do to reduce behaviours from becoming an issue/problem.
  1. Reading Our Way Information – 18 June 3:30-4:30pm
This free webinar will give you a breakdown of the research behind this program as well as the success many schools are seeing.  It will give you the necessary skills to be able to successfully implement the Reading OUR Way program into your home, school or centre. You will hear about our unique program and its errorless learning technique, relational learning style and scaffolded approach to teaching sight words. This program is best utilised as part of a whole reading program and can be incorporated into an inclusive education setting with the use of literacy groups/rotations.

Member Highlights

Brisbane North Family Get Together – An overview by Regional Representative Amanda Sarchet
The Brisbane Northside Family Get Together at The Hills District All Abilities Park was so much fun.  We had over 12 families turn up for an afternoon of sharing food, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Everyone enjoyed exploring the All Abilities Playground, participating in a couple of cricket matches and testing their skills at Giant Jenga. We even had a special visit from our local Councillor Matt Constance who was instrumental in the creation of The All Abilities Park. Our next exciting Northside event is a Mother’s Dinner on Friday the 8th of May at Kinn and Derm Thai Restaurant in Chermside. Hope to see lots of Mums there!

Bronco’s Meet and Greet the Trisome Games Athletes
The Brisbane Broncos recently invited some of the Trisomy Games athletes to attend a Broncos training session.  Some of the players wished them well for their trip to Turkey. 

The Trisome Games will be held from 31 March to 7 April in Turkey! DSQ have two athletes Ethan Parry and Andre Rivett and four swimmers, Taylor Anderton, Harry Cahill, Russel Boysen and Colin Marks who will be representing Australia in the Trisomy Games, which is being held in Turkey. The Trisome Games 2020 is a multi-sport event taking place every four years. Sports will be played by athletes with Down Syndrome from more than 50 countries.
Homemade Therapy Activities Part 2
- An article from Regional Representative, Amanda Sarch

Paddle Pop Stick Bin – A paint bucket, ice-cream container or any container with a lid. Cut slits in the lid big enough for larger paddle pop sticks to go through.  Your child can line up their paddle pop stick and push it through the slot.  They can use their pincer grip to grasp and pull out the paddle pop sticks that are already placed in the slots. A great fine motor and colour recognition activity.

Hungry Tennis Ball Monster – Carefully cut a slit across the tennis ball to create the Monster’s mouth. Draw or glue on some googly eyes and add any other features to create their monster. I squeeze the mouth open for Caitlin to feed it with buttons, beads, pompoms, paper clips but her favourite is chocolate cereal balls because the monster gets one and then Caitlin gets to eat one. The next challenge is for Caitlin to be able to squeeze open the mouth herself and feed her monster at the same time.  Then squeeze the ball hard enough to be able to get all the things out.  Tweezers can also be used to pick up items and release them into the mouth. This activity works on fine motor strength and endurance, strengthening writing fingers, bilateral hand use, pincer grasp and release as well as imaginative play.  
Painting with Water – A bucket full of water, paint brush or roller and Caitlin will be kept busy for ages; painting the posts, outdoor furniture, walls, bikes, the cement, anything she can, she has even tried painting our cat once. Standing and then bending down to dip the brush into the bucket of water, keeping her balance and then reaching up has helped to develop her core strength, co-ordination, gross and fine motor skills. This activity is also great for working on hand and eye coordination. It can also be used to practise letters and numbers formations, writing their name, it stimulates creativity and imagination.

Upcoming Events

14 March               DSQ Teens
14 March               Sunshine Coast Family Camping
16 March               NDIS Review Workshop
20 March               WDSD Morning Tea hosted by Government House
20 March               Bubbles and Brie Fundraising Event
21 March               World Down Syndrome Day
21 March               Emerald Meet ‘n’ Greet Family Get Together
21 March               Ipswich Family Get Together
21 March               Bundaberg Family Get Together
24 March               Early Years Workshop
27-29 March          Challenge Weekend #1 – Sunshine Coast
5 April                    Ipswich Teens Family Get Together (Bowling)

For more details and how to register for all DSQ events click here! 

To become a member of our wonderful organisation free please Click Here
We appreciate your feedback! 
If there is anything you want to share with us please click here or visit one of our social media channels using the icons below
Copyright © 2019 Down Syndrome QLD, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 3223
Stafford QLD 4053
or come in and visit us
282 Stafford Road, Stafford   

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Down Syndrome Queensland · 282 Stafford Road · Stafford · Stafford, Queensland 4053 · Australia