Welcome to the Northwest Down Syndrome Association

The NWDSA has been a parent-driven family support network since 1997. The NWDSA’s mission is to create and nurture a loving and inclusive community celebrating every person with a disability including Down syndrome.

The NWDSA/ABI will accomplish this mission by empowering and supporting families and individuals who have been touched by developmental disability. Together with our cross-disability sister project, All Born (In), founded in 2006, we will work to increase education, promote public understanding and acceptance, work toward full inclusion, and defend the civil rights of individuals with Down syndrome. Our vision also embraces professionals and the cross-disability community. Our statement of values is the core of our organization and the basis for how we make decisions to support our mission.

We believe that relationships are the cornerstones of our organization and that they should be both honored and nurtured.


Upcoming Events, Trainings & Workshops


Brokerage 101
A primer on support services
May 24, MESD Learn more


Summer Social
Aug 7th - Camp Angelos
Learn more & RSVP


Thank you to everyone who came to the 11th Annual All Born (In) Cross Disability Best Practices Inclusion Conference on April 23rd, 2016

Over 550 attendees (a record!) gathered at the Portland Airport Holiday Inn to participate in 35 workshops on topics ranging from inclusive education to financial planning to disability history and so much more. This year’s attendees included parents, professionals, educators, caregivers, self-advocates, policymakers, and community members all coming together to share ideas about how to reach and teach all children, and support everyone to succeed through transition into adult life.

Our keynote speakers this year were Dr. Richard Villa and Keith Jones. Dr. Villa opened the day with a moving and informative keynote presentation on successful inclusion that energized the room. Mr. Jones made us laugh and think, and challenged ideas about humanity during his lunch time keynote address.

A special Friend of Inclusion award was presented at the end of the day to Nancy Anderson, Assistant Director of Student Services at David Douglas School District. Nancy’s indefatigable support of inclusion has been a gift to our community and the students she serves for many years.

Resources from the sessions and presentations from this year’s conference will be available for download from our websites soon.

The ABI conference would not be possible without our staff and volunteers, support from the community, and the generosity of our sponsors and partners. Thank you to everyone who made this year’s conference a success!


Latest NWDSA News & Articles

  • ABI is not just about schools, about Special Ed, about getting my kid through school and helping other parents do the same. It’s about the long haul, and about building communities that understand that All Means All, that when we take the time to truly embrace and celebrate our differences, we will be the best world

  • Edie realized that in 1976, society didn’t have much space for a child with Down syndrome, and she was appalled to realize how poorly her son and his peers could be treated, how low expectations were, and how few opportunities there were for him to learn and thrive. Things were going to be different in the Brown family, and so began a long life of advocacy.

  • What if you have a child with disabilities who may lack the confidence, balance, and independence to hop on a bike and pedal away? That’s where NWDSA's Bike First summer clinic comes in.


Latest Action Alerts


Latest Advocacy News & Articles

  • For the first time in Oregon, individuals with intellectual disabilities will have access to an inclusive postsecondary education at a four-year university, thanks to the efforts of Think College Inclusion Oregon, Northwest Down Syndrome Association/All Born (in), and Portland State University.

  • In January 2012, attorneys from DRO filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Oregon, contending that its use of “sheltered workshops” violates the Americans with Disabilities Act by segregating people with disabilities from the workforce.

  • Reach 2020 would shift resources to integrate students (Portland Tribune)