Friday, 25 July 2014

Makaton Stage 1 & 2 Training in Northern Ireland

On Saturday 27th September the DSA Northern Ireland team will be holding Makaton Training covering Stage 1 & 2.  The training is for anyone interested in learning the first 2 stages of Makaton and is open to all, parents, carers, volunteers, nursery staff, teachers and other professions.  The training session runs from 10 -1pm and
your will a Certificate of attendance at a cost of £30 per person.

Contact Belfast office 9-4 Mon-Fri, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book a place.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Rugby 7’s team “Valley Assassins” commit to support Down's Syndrome Association

ValleyAssassinsteamshotThis Saturday, 26th July at the Find Rugby Now 7's Tournament held in Essex, the Down 's Syndrome Association will be delighted to see the Valley Assassins 7's team from West  Kent officially run out for the first time this season in support of the national charity.  The Valley Assassins 7's team have committed their 2014/2015 season to supporting the work of the Down 's Syndrome Association.  The Valley Assassins team have picked the Down Syndrome Association (DSA) as their official charity.  The team is made up from players from Dartford Valley RFC, Greenwich RFC Medway RFC and various other clubs. They hope to use the game of Rugby to raise money for the DSA and to raise awareness of about Downs syndrome. The Valley Assassins 7's team chose the Down's Syndrome Association as their charity because co-founder of the team and player Jason Kay, aged 24 is proud father of Daniel, aged 3 who has Down's syndrome.

Jason and co-founders Glynn Southee and Jake Kane created the Valley Assassins 7's to give rugby players in the South East of England to the opportunity to play 7s whilst also raising the profile of a charity that is close to the teams heart.

ValleyAssassinslogoThe Valley 7's want to help raise the profile of the Down's Syndrome Association and increase the knowledge of what people with Down's syndrome can achieve.  In the 21st century people with Down's syndrome go to mainstream school, college, get jobs, play sport and with the right level of support live independent lives.

The Valley 7's will be donating a large proportion of their winnings from cash prize tournaments.

The first big test of the season for the Valley 7's skills will be the 2014 FRN Rugby Sevens Tournament held at Ilford Wanderers RFC ground.  It is billed as the hottest rugby sevens tournament of the year featuring 50+ rugby sevens teams as well as the Crystal Palace Cheerleaders, DJ Charlotte Devaney, the Narni Shakers, mechanical bulls and much more.

Last week the Valley Assassin's as a warm up side travelled down to Burgess Hill RFC to compete in the Sussex All Blacks 7s Tournament. They won every game and played against Dragon Destroyers in the final winning 19 -12. A great and difficult tournament to win and a clear mark of the talent and skill of the newly formed team.

Alison Morgan, Down's Syndrome Association Fundraising Manager said,

"We are very excited that The Valley Assassins 7's team and Jason Kay are showing their support for our work.  Both raising funds and the awareness whilst playing a sport and having fun is just what we want.  We are looking forward to supporting the team".

Jason Kay, parent and Valley Assassin's 7's player said

"It's great to support such a worthy charity who do fantastic things for people with Down's Syndrome. We have great plans for the squad to further our objectives and it will be great to keep our involvement with the Charity. Daniel is a much loved member of the 7s circuit loved by many teams and he will be accompanying us on as many tournaments as possible along with his big sister Ruby and little brother Jakob. We would love to see other supporters of the charity come see us so if please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and if we are at a local
tournament to you it will be great to see you there"

Show your support for the Valley Assassins 7's by following them on social media –

Facebook, Twitter, or keep up with team reports here

Glynn Southee is also raising funds by taking part in a Skydive in October – you can show you
support for him by donating here

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Facebook Web Chat Event for Parents of Deaf Children with Down's Syndrome

The Down's Syndrome Association took part in a live Facebook chat in conjunction with National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS).

The web chat was hosted by the NDCS on Thursday 24th July 2014 at 7pm.

The topic for the web chat was "Creating an Effective Listening Environment" and was prompted
by recent research into the impact of early hearing difficulties on children with Down's syndrome. Read about the new research here

The web chat lasted an hour and had contributions from Vicki Kirwi, Amanda Hall and the DSA's
Gillian Bird.

If you missed the live Facebook Chat about "Creating an effective listening environment" you can catch up with the questions and answers here

Friday, 18 July 2014

DSActive National Football Festival 2014 Report

Cardiff City Champions smallThe DSActive National Festival took place for the fourth consecutive year on Sunday, June 29th 2014.

The event, which brings together DSActive football teams from across England and Wales, took centre-stage at the wonderful St George's Park in Burton-upon-Trent.

A record 16 DSActive teams took part in a fiercely contested and high-quality contest, with over 150 players battling it out to be crowned champions! The tournament provided an exciting spectacle for the several hundred coaches and family members watching from the sidelines.

The teams were separated into three groups to take part in a round-robin style tournament, followed by a semi-final stage and a final. One team would progress from each of the three groups, with the runner-up from the Red Group also progressing. Each match lasted 12 minutes and was played six-a-side. 

You can read the full festival report here.


Tuesday, 01 July 2014

ESA Survey

The Disability Benefit's Consortium have asked us for parents who would like to contribute to the Big Benefits Survey with regard to experiences claiming ESA.

The results are really important to informing their response to the WCA independent review, but also in broader campaigning work they are doing around the welfare changes. If you have a spare ten minutes it would be great if you could contribute.

They will keep the surveys open for five weeks so they will close at midnight on August 3rd.

As in previous years, they will be able to pull out condition specific data for organisations that require this.

Here is the link to the survey