A busy new year for everyone at the DSA

We are here for everyone with an interest in people with Down’s syndrome. We work towards a more inclusive society, where individuals are provided with support and are enabled to have lives of their choosing.

The new year has seen staff across the DSA busy as usual:

We’ve also continued to build on our work that should ensure that publicly available information on Down’s syndrome is balanced and up-to-date.

We have stepped-up our ongoing training provision for professionals working in antenatal care and all those supporting new and prospective parents. We continue to work with Public Health England, The Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme (FASP) and Antenatal Screening Wales in improving the quality of information that is provided to women at all stages of their pregnancy, from the beginning of their contact with their midwife (when options for antenatal screening are discussed), through to information provided about Down’s syndrome, should a test identify a baby with Down’s syndrome.

We have involved parents of children with Down’s syndrome in developing these materials, which also include film clips of families talking about their experiences and films of children and adults of various ages talking about school, family life, getting a job or moving into their own accommodation. This window into the lives of different people with Down’s syndrome should give health professionals an up to date, balanced and accurate portrayal of what life is like with Down’s syndrome today, often challenging preconceived ideas that some people might have.

We have been helping FASP to deliver a series of face-to-face training sessions for midwives and screening coordinators across the country and these training sessions involve a number of parents of children with Down’s syndrome sharing their stories of what life is like. On 16 January Julian Hallett, our Services Development Manager, was joined by two parents to deliver a training session for all antenatal screening coordinators across Wales.

During the autumn of 2017, the DSA helped to facilitate regional training events for 500 antenatal screening coordinators across England.

The DSA’s Royal College of Midwives accredited training called Tell it Right™  has been delivered to more than 5,500 midwives across the UK over the last 3 years. If you would like to know more about Tell it Right training, you can find more information here or drop the Training team an email.

We are currently embarked on a similar project with The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to provide learning materials for their members.

The DSA produces a series of information booklets for new parents and for women wanting more information during the ante-natal stage.

These have been refreshed recently and we make these available to maternity units across the country. All of these materials are available on our website.

Whatever your question or concern, please contact our Helpline (0333 1212 300, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm, info@downs-syndrome.org.uk).