About Us

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About (DSAV) Down Syndrome Association of the Valley

Together we can make a difference.
(DSAV) Down Syndrome Association of the Valley is a dedicated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving individuals with Down Syndrome across Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Established in 2007, our commitment is unwavering: to provide comprehensive support, valuable resources, effective advocacy, enriching education, and abundant opportunities to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the communities we serve throughout the region.

In June 2022, we proudly inaugurated the Regional Down Syndrome Center for Success of Eastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania, situated in Boardman, OH. Spanning 2500 square feet, this innovative center features a host of amenities designed to cater to the diverse needs of our community. From a spacious therapeutic play area for infants and toddlers to a fully-equipped kitchen for life skills and nutrition classes, private tutor rooms, a therapy and fitness area, a center stage for communication skills development, and a creative arts area—the center serves as a beacon of empowerment and growth.

At DSAV, we believe in the profound importance of inclusion and acceptance. Witnessing all individuals embraced and participating in activities alongside their peers brings us unparalleled joy. Through our enriching experiences, diverse programs, and impactful grants, we foster personal growth and instill pride in achievement among our members. Membership with DSAV is free and open to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, educators, healthcare professionals, and anyone passionate about making a difference in the lives of those with Down syndrome.

Moreover, the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley is firmly committed to cultivating an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. We ensure that all staff, families, volunteers, and board members are treated with the utmost respect and dignity, irrespective of race, color, religion, gender, abilities, age, veteran status, socioeconomic status, national origin, sexual orientation, or identification. Together, we strive to create a community where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.
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Our Mission

Our mission at the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley is clear: to provide resources, support, education, advocacy, and opportunities to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families across Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. We understand that our strength is not just in our words but in the actions we take. Founded in 2007, our nonprofit organization recognized the power of collective effort in overcoming challenges. That's why we launched the Down Syndrome Association of the Valley—to work together efficiently for the betterment of our community.
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Understanding and Managing Down Syndrome

Empowering Lives Through Comprehensive Support
Down Syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21. Typically, humans have 46 chromosomes, arranged in 23 pairs, but individuals with Down Syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, resulting in a total of 47 chromosomes. This additional genetic material disrupts typical development, leading to various physical and cognitive challenges.

Characteristics of Down Syndrome can vary widely from person to person, but common physical features may include almond-shaped eyes, a flattened facial profile, low muscle tone, and a single crease across the palm of the hand. Individuals with Down Syndrome also often experience intellectual disabilities and may have delays in speech and language development.

While Down Syndrome is a lifelong condition, early intervention and comprehensive medical care can greatly improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with the condition. Management of Down Syndrome typically involves a multidisciplinary approach, addressing various aspects of health and development.

Medical management may include regular health check-ups, screenings for common health issues associated with Down Syndrome such as heart defects, thyroid disorders, and vision or hearing problems. Early intervention services, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, can help address developmental delays and support overall growth and independence.

Educational support is crucial for individuals with Down Syndrome to reach their full potential. Special education programs tailored to their unique learning needs, along with inclusion in mainstream classrooms whenever possible, can provide valuable opportunities for academic and social development.

Support from family, friends, and the community plays a significant role in managing Down Syndrome. Providing a nurturing and inclusive environment, promoting independence and self-advocacy, and celebrating achievements are all essential aspects of supporting individuals with Down Syndrome.

In summary, managing Down Syndrome involves a holistic approach that addresses medical, developmental, educational, and social needs. With appropriate support and resources, individuals with Down Syndrome can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives, making valuable contributions to their families and communities.

DSAV is an Affiliate Member of: 

View Our 2023 Impact Report

Services Offered: Accessible Programming for Active DSAV Members
Experience our array of services exclusively available to active DSAV members.