Overview of the National Association for Down Syndrome

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National Association for Down Syndrome The National Association for Down Syndrome is governed much like a traditional corporation, with a board of directors and staff members, although it is a nonprofit. "NADS is the oldest organization in the country serving individuals with Down syndrome and their families. It was founded in Chicago in 1961 by parents who chose to go against medical advice and raised their children with Down syndrome at home" (About NADS, 2012, NADS). From its inception, NADS was designed to provide support for parents of children with Down syndrome and their offspring. Its key stakeholders are parents and children, and it strives to educate the larger community about the disorder and to cultivate community resources to better enable parents to raise their children in a supportive and loving environment that caters to the children's special needs. Information-gathering and dissemination, support, and advocacy on a national and local level are all part of the organizations' mission. "The direct support we provide to families through our Parent Support Program, our Mentoring Program, the Work Experience Program, and other individualized services is at the core of our mission" within the Chicago area, where the governing body of NADS is based (About NADS, 2012, NADS). However, "we do not have the staff or the resources to provide those services outside of the Chicago metropolitan area" (About NADS, 2012, NADS). For the wider community outside the
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