The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio provides programs and services to improve the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. USOD serves over 900 families caring for a loved one with Down syndrome and the professionals who serve them in Northeast Ohio.
The following is a comprehensive list of USOD services:
- Parent to Parent Network −As soon as the USOD is informed of a new baby with Down syndrome, our New Parent Outreach Coordinator contacts the new parents to offer support, friendship, books and information on how to receive support from the USOD and other local resources.
- Buddy Walk −The NEO Buddy Walk is a wheel-friendly 1-mile pledge walk to increase public awareness and acceptance, and raise funds to support programs and services for people in our community with Down syndrome.
- Online Yahoo Parent Support Group — Northeast Ohio families are encouraged to join to share ideas, ask questions and offer support.
- Family Grant Program −Twice a year the USOD awards medical or recreational support through family grants.
- Resource Directory −Lists of available services for families of individuals with Down syndrome. The USOD staff maintains an accurate and up-to-date listing of convenient and necessary resources.
- Family Support Groups −Monthly informational meetings for family members of individuals with Down syndrome. From time to time, the meetings feature guest speakers and panels of peer families to lead discussions on topics such as health care, education, wills and trusts, behavior management, legal rights, transitions and potty training.
- Disability Awareness Programs −Peer Presentations are a one-time educational talk designed to give students an awareness of Down syndrome through a classroom speaker and activities. DS 101 teaches educators the basics regarding Down syndrome to help better educate, understand and include their students with Down syndrome.
- Education Conferences −The USOD is proud to host educational conferences which bring together experts in the disability field to discuss best practices in working with, teaching and supporting individuals with Down syndrome.
- Social Events −USOD hosts several events each year for all members to come together and share common interests and values. Among these are −Fall Fun Fests, Annual Holiday Party, Karaoke Nights for Adults, Bowling Buddies, Baby & Toddler Playgroups and much more! Families look forward to these events as an opportunity to network and share information and resources with one another.
- The Learning Program −Parent workshops designed to help parents to be effective ‘first teachers’ by teaching strategies and providing customized materials to support families in the education process. The Learning Program is designed to supplement traditional education.
- Smart Start −Helps parents navigate the educational maze for children entering kindergarten. Parents learn a variety of topics that relate to student readiness, parent/teacher relationships, advocacy, IEP’s and much more.
If you have questions about USOD programs and services, or would like to make a suggestion for a new program, please contact us.