June Newsletter

What's News?

CEO Vlog - Disability Royal Commission
Hear an updated from DSQ CEO Darryl Steff about the Disability Royal Commission and the impact COVID-19 had on its progress.  

New Down Syndrome Australia Board Member
Congratulations to Claire Mitchell who has agreed to be an Independent Director for the Down Syndrome Australia (DSA) Board.  As you know Claire is also the Chair of our Queensland Down Syndrome Advisory Network.  Claire is passionate about being a voice for people with Down syndrome. She believes in having a positive attitude and that the best support outcomes for the Down syndrome community happen when everyone is working together as a team. DSA are looking forward to Claire's contributions to the Board and the governance of the organisation. Hear more about it in the video below!

NEW National Website
It’s officially here! You can visit the new national website today at  See all the latest Queensland events and news, find out what we do and how we can help, explore the services we can offer you, get in touch and find support. Watch the video here to find out more.  

World Down Syndrome Congress

In light of the current COVID-19 and its progression, the 14th World Down Syndrome Congress in Dubai has been postponed from 15-17 November 2020 to the some time in 2021. The new dates will be announced in due course.  As a result, Down Syndrome Australia has announced that the WDSC in Brisbane, which was originally scheduled for 2022 will be rescheduled for 2024.  We will have to wait a bit longer for our home town Congress!

Support Services

Upcoming Webinar – ‘Making the Most of your Child’s ECEI meeting’

Join our latest webinar on ‘Making the most of your child’s ECEI meeting’ on Thursday, 25th June at 10.00am. The webinar will:
  • Explain all parts of ECEI planning and review meetings
  • The reasons behind why certain information is gathered
  • Support you to better understand what can and cannot be included in ECEI plans
  • Equip you with strategies to best support requests for specific supports
To register, click on this link:
Early Intervention Webinar
Have you ever wanted to know more about early intervention - what it is and what benefits it offers your child? The Support Services Team have recently recorded a webinar to explain this, which you can watch at your convenience. Simply click on this link to access the recording:  The webinar also explores how to access early intervention through the Early Childhood Early Intervention program within the NDIS. There will be a Question and Answer session via Zoom held on Tuesday, 14th July at 11.30am – if you would like to attend on the day, please use this link:

Always feel free to reach out to Tanya, our Early Years Support Officer, if you want to chat further about early intervention or your child’s ECEI plan - (07) 3356 6655 or .
Coffee and Catch up!
DSQ will be holding ‘Coffee & catch up” sessions each Tuesday morning at 10am for the whole of June – 23rd and 30th to come!  All age groups throughout Queensland are invited to join and take the opportunity to ask any questions of DSQ, or the families that join in & connect with other families. You can join by clicking this link:

Do you know about Mater Intellectual Disability and Autism Service (MIDAS)?
MIDAS (formerly known as QCIDD) is a state-wide service which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of adults with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities through clinical practice, education and research.  Their services are designed to assist current health practitioners and service providers by providing initial assessments and short-term interventions.
MIDAS can provide:
  • Full health assessments
  • Full mental health assessments
  • Tele-health consults
  • Telephone / email consultation 
In order to access MIDAS, a GP referral will be required to this service.  All the referral details can be accessed via the link below that you can take with you to the GP.
The individual, their family or carers can also assist this referral by completing and returning the Pre-Appointment Questionnaire.  Individuals must be aged 16 and over, with a diagnosis of intellectual disability or developmental disability.  For any further enquiries, please contact MIDAS' Clinical Coordinator by phone on (07) 3163 2524
Over the past month there have been a few NDIS changes to keep on top of! These include information about the new Price Guide that will come into effect on July 1, the rolling back of some COVID-19 related changes to the Scheme and the release of some useful information packs for participants.
New Price Guide
Information about the new price guide can be found on the NDIS website here and here.
For a deeper dive into the changes, check out DSC’s blog.
Covid-19 related changes
The NDIS will be rolling back some of the changes that were brought in as a response to COVID 19. They’re calling it their ‘Post pandemic phase’ from July 1. These changes include:
  • Return to standard short-term cancellation definition (ie. 2 clear business days)
  • Removal of 10% COVID-19 loading on certain core and capacity building supports
  • Medium Term Accommodation returned to original policy of 90 days (down from 180).
Some changes will remain, at least for now. These include:
  • Alternatives to face-to-face planning meetings
  • Plan extensions for up to 24 months
  • Flexible use of funds to purchase low cost assistive technology
Info Packs
Also available on the NDIS website, are a number of ‘info packs’ that bring all the available information on a topic to one place. Topics include
  • ECEI
  • Fraud – Protecting yourself (and the NDIS)
  • Self management
  • Low Cost AT
  • Telephone Planning (Pre-planning & Scheduled Reviews)
  • Mental Health and Well-being
For more information or support around using your NDIS plan or making sense of the system, give our NDIS Support Services Officer a call or email. Phone the office or email
What are the 3 Different Kinds of Support Coordination?
There are three levels of NDIS support coordination that can be included in your plan:
  1. Support Connection
This support is to build your ability to connect with informal, community and funded supports enabling you to get the most out of your plan and achieve your goals. This level of service is provided by Local Area Coordinators (LAC’s).
  1. Support Coordination
Otherwise called Coordination of supports, this support will assist you to build the skills you need to understand, implement and use your plan.
A support coordinator will work with you to ensure a mix of supports are used to increase your capacity to maintain relationships, manage service delivery tasks, live more independently and be included in your community.  
This level is currently offered by Down Syndrome Qld.  If you have any questions, please email our Services Support Team to discuss in further detail.   Email
  1. Specialist Support Coordination
This is a higher level of support coordination for people whose situations are more complex and who need specialist support.
It may be provided by a professional with an Allied health background or someone with Psychological expertise.
In the same way that regular ‘Support Coordination’ helps bring your NDIS plan to life by connecting participants to providers, Specialist Support Coordination achieves the same goal but addresses more complex support needs.   Only NDIS registered providers can provide this service.

Social Programs

DSQ Lunch Club
Did you know DSQ Lunch Club often has celebrity guests?  Each day, between 12-1pm many of our Social Program members dial into zoom to informally catch up with their friends and make new ones.  We chat, tell stories, have a laugh and generally socialize.  It is a great opportunity to practice online communication via video and has allowed people to join in from all over Australia (and soon New Zealand). The celebrity guests that have joined in so far have all had a great time, answering the clever questions from participants.
Some of the guests include:

  • Dan & Stef – My Kitchen Rules Winners
  • Angie Kent – Reality TV Star
  • Melissa Doyle – Channel 7 News
  • Ranger Stacey – Totally Wild TV Host
  • Matthew Mitchem – Olympic Gold Medal Winner
  • Simon Dower – Zoo Keeper
  • Scotty Prince – Brisbane Broncos
  • Aurelie Roque – Stage Performer

Are you looking for something fun to do at lunch times? Want to connect with other members of the Down syndrome community? Contact Andrew on for all the details and watch the video above! 

DSQ Karaoke & Talent Show

If you haven’t watch the DSQ Karaoke and Talent Show yet, you are missing out!  Our June event will the third talent show we have hosted.  So far there has been more than 20 performances, including signing, dancing, comedy and instruments.  There has also been more than 60 people join the audience from all over Queensland.
This month the show is on Friday 26th June at 5:30pm.  It will roughly finish at 7pm, which will give families a chance to have some dinner before the online screening of The Peanut Butter Falcon at 7:45pm.  Want to have a full Friday night of entertainment? Contact Andrew on for all the details.

Group Social Programs Return in Brisbane and Gold Coast

A soft, COVID safe, return to normal social programs is planned for the end of June.  DSQ Teens on Saturday 20th June and DSQ Club (Brisbane and Gold Coast) on Saturday 27th June.  These are the first events back face to face in a group setting since all events were cancelled in March.   Due to social distancing regulations we limited all of these events to seven participants each, which meant they were quickly full!  We hope July’s events will be able to include more people.  In the meantime, and if the demand is there, we will continue to run zoom activities online.  These zoom activities have meant that many people from all over Queensland have been able to join in like everyone else.


It really has been exciting times for the CEP classes this term!

Our classes have been running via Zoom which has given us all the opportunity to meet together safely from home. Despite the huge learning curve, challenges and experiences online learning provided we are grateful for the opportunity COVID19 created to explore new ways of learning.  We have been so proud of everyone’s efforts and achievements. 

CEP online has not only been a great opportunity to keep us all connected but also a great opportunity for connecting people throughout the whole state. Alongside many of our regular CEP Students we have enjoyed the company of people joining us from remote central Queensland and even interstate!
During this term, we have focused on being an agent of change. Looking at animal rescue shelters and zoos, in Australia and overseas, wildlife being saved by the RSPCA and WWF, Greenpeace and the impacts human life is having on the environment.

We developed a unit on healthy bodies and mindset, set personal goals, learnt functions of the human body, worked through current global health issues including COVID19 and the movement that begun in USA, looking at the racism and inclusion, both systemic and individual in America.

As always, we acknowledged the Traditional Owners of our country during Australian Reconciliation Week and “Sorry Day”. We shared information and events such as the 20th Anniversary of the first Reconciliation March across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Kevin Rudd’s public apology in parliament and we also watched Peter Garrett singing “Beds are Burning” with their clothes displaying the word SORRY! 

Finally, for one of our writing topics the students reflected on the global changes throughout these unprecedented times. We have taken the opportunity to share our dreams and would like to share some of this work with you.
What I dream for the world is…
  • A happier place for people to come together no matter their race, gender, sexuality or culture.
  • Climate change
  • No animal cruelty
  • Equality
  • That everyone is able to go to Disneyland.
  • More wildlife rescues.
  • Freedom for everyone.
  • Everyone to treat others with respect.
  • More jobs and business in Australia.
  • Everyone to have a job.
  • To be able to travel again and go to Canada.
  • No more wars.
  • Everyone to show kindness

Holidays and Term 3 start dates
Our last week this term is Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 June. We hope you all have a safe and relaxing holiday and look forward to seeing you all again for Term 3. Starting dates for each class are: Wednesday 15 July, Thursday 16 July, Friday 17 July.

It is our aim to return to the classroom in Stafford, from 9am to 3pm each day – with social distancing rules applied. Special thanks to all families and carers for their support of our students through this time of working remotely. We have covered some important global issues and your students have worked so well. We have enjoyed dance parties alone, but together and exercised our way through this time – 10 minutes at a time! We have learned about each other’s favourite music, and seeing each other every week is certainly a highlight of our week!


Welcome Back Lynsey!

Our Education Consultant (Lynsey Kennedy-Wood) has returned from maternity leave and is ready and raring to go. Should you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact her on (07) 3356 6655 or at
Over the next few weeks Lynsey will be making and releasing short videos on Facebook relating to educating an individual with Down syndrome. The goal is to produce videos on inclusion, using calculators, choosing the right school, stationery considerations, visual supports and much more. Feel free to encourage your child’s educator to follow us on Facebook so they too can access these tips and, if there are any topics you would like covered do not forget to post a comment.
Share Your Experience!
As students return to school after the recent pandemic, we would love to hear your experiences with home-schooling including things you learnt about your child, where you feel the gap may be within the educational setting, success stories and pictures of education in action.  Should you wish to share these with us please email the Education Consultant at
Upcoming Webinar
Our next set of webinar series is coming Semester 2, beginning with Understanding Down Syndrome on Thursday 23rd July.  Should you or your child’s educator/school wish to register for this webinar please go to this link:

Fundraising & Events

Variety Fundraiser
Thank you Leah and Sharon Park - you are both so inspiring! You raised nearly $1000 for DSQ by generously donating your beautiful hair to such an amazing cause - Variety - the Children's Charity of Queensland. Enjoy your new hair Leah, you look beautiful!

Peanut Butter Falcon - Movie Night In
Come and enjoy a movie night in on us... The Peanut Butter Falcon at 7:45pm on Friday, 26 June 2020.
The Peanut Butter Falcon (rated M) is a 2019 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, and starring Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal and Thomas Haden Church. The plot follows a young man with Down syndrome (Gottsagen) who escapes from an assisted living facility and befriends a wayward fisherman on the run (LaBeouf); as the two men form a rapid bond, a social worker (Johnson) attempts to track them.
Please register to the FREE event.  Once we've received your details, you we will send you an email link to access the movie screening. 


Member Highlights

Get off the couch challenge!
Recently 13 year old Jessica's mum Jenny Woolsey set a 21 day 'get off the couch' challenge. Jessica recorded a video of her daily activity as practice toward her dream of becoming a YouTube star! Great idea, and thanks for sharing.  Watch all 21 videos at link above! What are you doing to get away from your devices and off your couch? Email

Inspiring and Educating Story Books – An article by Regional Representative Amanda Sarchet
When we found out that we were having a baby with Down syndrome we didn’t want to confuse our boys with too much information of what may or may If you are looking for a way to introduce and educate about Down syndrome in a day care centre, kindy or school setting, maybe with family and friends, there are some really great books that encourage kindness, patience, inclusion and acceptance.
‘My friend has Down’s syndrome’ by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos is a beautiful introduction to Down syndrome, I highly recommend this book.  It is about two girls at a summer camp who became best friends, one of the girls; Ella, has Down syndrome.  This book sensitively explores the other children’s hesitation about Ella being there because they don’t understand what Down syndrome is.  It explains what Down syndrome is in a very child-friendly way through its storyline.  The children soon learn that all children have their own strengths and weaknesses, and this is what makes us unique.  There is information about Down syndrome for adults at the back of the book.
‘My Friend Isabelle’ by Eliza Woloson is a sweet book about a friendship between a little boy named Charlie and a little girl named Isabelle who has Down syndrome.  It is a positive, bright book with very cute illustrations.  It explains what the two children have in common and how they are different is what makes their friendship so special.
‘D is for Down Syndrome A Child’s View’ by Amy E. Sturkey uses a simple ABC format to educate about Down syndrome in a fun and entertaining way.  Each page has bright beautiful illustrations and contains a theme that starts with a letter of the alphabet.  It is narrated by a 6 year old girl with Down syndrome in child-friendly and easy to understand language.  It teaches from a child’s perspective the traits and challenges that children with Down syndrome share.  Then it offers an optimistic and encouraging ways of meeting each challenge.
‘What’s Inside You Is Inside Me. Too My Chromosomes Make Me Unique’ by Deslie Quinby and Jeannie Visootsak simply explains Down syndrome using a fun poetic approach aided by informative, colourful illustrations. It explains the complicated concept of chromosomes and their role in making every living thing special in very simple language in an appropriate way for children to easily understand. There is also in depth information about Down syndrome for adults at the back of the book.
All these books can be purchased from online stores such as Amazon, Booktopia or Book Depository or check out the DSQ Library.
Upcoming Events

19 June       Netflix Watch Party
20 June       DSQ Teens – Stafford
23 June       Coffee & Catch up (Zoom)
25 June       ECEI Webinar
26 June       DSQ Talent Show (Zoom)
26 June       Peanut Butter Falcon Movie Night @home
27 June       DSQ Club – Stafford
30 June       Coffee & Catch up (Zoom)
14 July        Early Intervention Webinar Q&A Session (Zoom)
18 July        DSQ Club
23 July        Understanding Ds Webinar
25 July        DSQ Teens
+ Daily Lunch Club

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 © 2020 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