The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM) was formed in 1985 by six couples who had children with Down syndrome. Their original aim was to provide support and share knowledge with other families. Through the years, the goals of the Association have broadened to encompass advocacy, public awareness, and the distribution of information relevant to Down syndrome.
The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan is a resource and advocacy organization promoting public awareness and supporting lifelong opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome.
We aim to provide support for all families in the Western Michigan Down syndrome community.
- Inclusion– We work to ensure that the needs of our diverse membership are met and that all members are equitably included in the community regardless of their distinct needs or differences.
- Empowerment– We provide resources, opportunities, and knowledge to empower our members to realize their full potential in life.
- Education– We gather and distribute knowledge and resources to educate and bring awareness about Down syndrome to West Michigan, ensuring that our members are fully supported and have access to the highest quality of life.
- Community– We foster a network of support for families with Down syndrome, as well as work to build partnerships that connect our members to the West Michigan community at-large.
- Service- We focus on continuous improvement to respond to the needs of and provide the best support to our membership.
Who We Serve
The DSAWM serves twelve counties in West Michigan: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Van Buren. Our membership is comprised of over 300 individuals with Down syndrome and their families. We also service community partners, e.g., medical professionals, educators, therapists, disability organizations, etc.
Anyone who wishes to join the Association may become a member; however, only those living in the aforementioned counties receive full access to DSAWM programs and services.