February Newsletter

What's News?

Our CEO, Darryl Steff will be updating you via video on a variety of topics each month - with this month being all about the NDIS. For topic suggestions please email
If you are looking for NDIS support DSQ now have several staff dedicated to just that! Check out the video below and email now. Latest video here

A Travel Training program for people with Down syndrome who would like to learn more about public transport and increase their independence in catching a train or bus is underway! The program is run in conjunction with Autism Queensland and has been developed with Queensland Rail.

The 10 week program has already commenced, but don't worry you can still register even if you can't make the first session. NDIS individual funding can be used. For more information on the Travel Training program and how to register please visit this link or email
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
Family Support Survey
We are keen to find out what you need in your local community!  It is extremely important to DSQ that we are value adding in a way that meet your needs and so we are seeking your feedback.  Tell us about fundraisers, events, workshops and needs you would like to see supported in your local area.  Start the survey here:
Our new team structure!
Following on from our strategic planning process and success in receiving funding under an ILC grant, DSQ has recruited additional staff members to meet the growing need of the DSQ community.  We are very excited about these changes and want to share with you the new structure and how the team will be able to better support you.

Support Services Manager
Julia is responsible for the Support Services team who ensure that Down Syndrome Queensland members feel connected and supported, regardless of where they live in Queensland. Julia supports our regional representatives, and will be looking to build capacity in the regions, particularly within the health system, ensuring families are fully supported.

Early Years Officer
Amanda provides support and information to individuals and families, with a focus on early intervention and early childhood development.  Amanda offers compassionate, up to date, unbiased information from and during prenatal diagnosis, to expectant parents and new families assisting in navigating each transition.  Amanda also aids in building formal and informal supports, advocacy and linking with regional representatives.
Youth & Adult Support Services Officer
Yuka is available to provide assistance to teenagers/adults who have Down syndrome, their families and their support network (e.g. service providers, employers, educators). Yuka can assist in areas such as: Employment, health and well-being, independent living, puberty/sexuality, challenging behaviour, decision-making, succession planning, ageing, and any other areas that may impact a teenager/adult with Down syndrome. Yuka can connect families with resources and services, and can also assist with sourcing supports that allow the person to pursue meaningful pathways throughout their life.
NDIS Support Services Officer 
Casey is responsible for supporting Down Syndrome Queensland members to understand and navigate the NDIS. They provide free personalised support and advocacy. This could include assistance with pre-planning, getting the most from your NDIS plan, reviews and appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Casey can answer your NDIS questions, and provide information, resources, and training relevant to the NDIS.
NDIS Support Coordinator
Carolyn is our NDIS Support Coordinator and is available to help people with Down syndrome make the most of their NDIS funds, choosing the best options for services and connecting them with service providers. This service is currently focused on the greater Brisbane area. 
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, how to get a fundraising kit or to buy the official 'lots of socks' click the link below! #WDSD20 Photo credit: World Down Syndrome Day
WDSD Morning Tea hosted by The Governor of Queensland
We are excited this year to have the opportunity of a morning tea to be hosted by the Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, and Mrs Kaye de Jersey in support of World Down Syndrome Day.  The event is by invitation only, principally to past supporters and fundraisers, and will be held at Government House on Friday 20 March.  A fantastic event to help raise awareness of World Down Syndrome Day.   

Peanut Butter Falcon Fundraising Event 
We had a wonderful night last month when over 1000 people attended an advanced screening of The Peanut Butter Falcon at Palace Cinemas across Australia raising funds for Down Syndrome Australia.

If you weren't able to make it and still wish to see the movie then you're in luck! The Peanut Butter Falcon has been released to the general public - do yourself a favour and grab a ticket, it really is a must see!

GC Early Bird Marathon Registration
Early Bird registrations are now open for the Gold Coast Marathon in July.  Commit to fundraising $250 for DSQ and we will pay for your entry fee and supply a DSQ t-shirt to run in!  Make sure you register and join under “Team Down Syndrome Queensland”.  For more information on the event click here!  Set up your fundraising page on Everyday Hero, linked to our page called Team Down Syndrome Queensland. More information here!

Social Programs

DSQ Club New Year’s Eve Ball
The glitz and glamour of a Hollywood red carpet event was the backdrop for celebrating the new year for over 50 DSQ Club members.
Held at the luxurious Four Points by Sheraton we danced the night away as part of the DSQ Club New Years Eve Ball.
Guests then stayed overnight in twin share rooms and woke to a buffet breakfast to start 2020.  For some guests this was their first DSQ Club NYE Ball and their first independent overnight stay in a hotel.
Everyone had a great time, supported each other and learned something new about themselves and what it takes to organize attending a major event like this.
Social Programs Team Expands
As part of the expansion of our Social Programs, we have recently employed Nathan Pamenter in a casual position to assist Program Manager Andrew Dower with the Gold Coast DSQ Club.  Many of you will know Nathan from his previous work with us.
Nathan’s role will now be the “on the ground coordinator” of our Gold Coast based DSQ Club events. He will be the one who attends the events, supervises the volunteers and manages the participants. We’re excited for Nathan to be on board in this capacity.  Congratulations!


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 in the new year.

Endless Possibilities Conference

Our popular Endless Possibilities Conference is now a bi-annual event, with the next being March 2021.  If you are an educator and keen to access more resources and knowledge around teaching children with Down syndrome – please visit our website to view several resources and register for all upcoming Webinars.
Free Upcoming Information Webinars
  1.  Understanding Down Syndrome – 6th Feb 3:30-4:30pm
This free webinar will outline what Down syndrome is, various medical and physical differences that can be evident and how these can affect the individual in an educational setting.  A great introduction for individuals who may be teaching a student with Down syndrome for the first time. Register:
  1. Inclusive Practices – 27th Feb 3:30-4:30pm
This free webinar will outline Education Queensland's current stance on Inclusive Education and the implications that this can bring to a mainstream classroom. There will be practical examples of what inclusive education is and is not with antidotes and real-life experiences. This is a great opportunity to learn more about best practice in regard to inclusive education and is highly recommended for all educators to help them and their school on the journey.
  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.

Continued Education Program 

Wednesday class is here!
DSQ has started a class for our Continued Education Program on Wednesdays from today – 5th February.  This class will be run by Brad Cresswell and Dizzy Pinto (who has been helping with the Thursday class on a casual basis).
We currently have eight students for this class and will be looking to take a few more on over the coming months.  This is great news and follows the success of the Thursday class which was launched 15 months ago.

Thanks to Deb Martin, Deb McNair and Brad for all their hard work in the success of the CEP classes, supported by Georgie and Te.  For more information email

Member Highlights

Homemade Therapy Activities
- An article from Regional Representative, Amanda Sarchett

Therapy activities can be so expensive to buy and sometimes it’s so hard to find exactly what you need and want.  When you do find it, you usually only need that particular piece of equipment for a short time and then need to purchase something else. 

Well, there are a lot of fun, cheap and easy to make therapy activities that you can create right in your own home using everyday things from around the house. Caitlin absolutely loves our homemade therapy activities and is always very excited when I get one down for her to use. She doesn’t care that they didn’t cost a lot of money or that they were not store bought. In my next couple of articles, I’ll share with you some therapy activities that we have made and use with Caitlin;
  • An empty tissue box with the plastic carefully removed is perfect for practising releasing and retrieving an object. The objects can be blocks, shapes, milk bottle lids, ping pong balls, small toys etc.
  • A metal colander with pipe cleaners threaded through the holes is a great activity to practise using the pincer grasp to pull the pipe cleaners out. Then to place the pipe cleaner back into a hole. You can also practise colours using the pipe cleaners.   
  • Caitlin’s absolutely favourite homemade activity is a laundry powder bucket with a piece of pvc pipe pushed through a hole in the lid. She has to release objects into the pipe such as ping pong balls, plastic eggs, spikey dinosaurs, variety sizes of lids and for a different texture a variety of types of craft pompoms.  You could use any type of bucket or container such as an ice-cream tub as long as it has a lid.
Upcoming Events

6 February             Understanding Ds Webinar      
8 February             DSQ Club – Brisbane & Gold Coast
15 February           DSQ Teens
27 February           Inclusive Practices Webinar
11 March               Adult Housing Information Session
14 March               DSQ Teens
20 March               WDSD Morning Tea hosted at Government House
21 March               World Down Syndrome Day – Lots of Socks
24 March               Early Years Workshop
27-29 March          Challenge Weekend #1 – Sunshine Coast

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
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Copyright © 2019 Down Syndrome QLD, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 3223
Stafford QLD 4053
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282 Stafford Road, Stafford   

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Down Syndrome Queensland · 282 Stafford Road · Stafford · Stafford, Queensland 4053 · Australia

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