Bike Week is June 23 - 27, 2014 - Registration is now open!


Bike First! is proud to promote inclusion by teaching individuals with disabilities the skills needed to ride typical bicycles.

Read more about Bike Week | Learn How to Register

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 will accomplish this mission by empowering and supporting families and individuals who have been touched by Down syndrome. 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. We believe that relationships are the cornerstones of our organization and that they should be both honored and nurtured.

The NWDSA mission and values are the north star of our organization, and guide us in our work to build a community of informed, empowered parents. Read the NWDSA statement of values.

While our roots are as a Down syndrome organization, our work around inclusive schools and communities embraces all learners. In 2005, we started our All Born (In) Cross Disability work. Visit the NWDSA’s sister site, to learn more about the All Born (In) cross-disability inclusion movement.

Burgerville Fundraiser
April 10th, 5-8 PM
1135 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR
10% of sales benefit the RLC
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Stronger Together Workshop
Developing Independence in the Early Years
April 17th, Clackamas ESD Building
Cross-Disability for Parents & Professionals
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Latest NWDSA News & Articles

  • Breaking Up with Doctor Normal

    That is when I realized that the doc’s use of "normal” wasn't just a difference in our vocabulary usage. It reflected a different way of seeing.

  • Why are we so afraid of Down syndrome?

    It was a picture-worthy moment — an image as adorable as the cuddly kittens in baskets and chunky babies in cornucopias that we see on calendars in shopping malls.
    Was that what I was afraid of the day she was born?

  • It was a dark and stormy walk

    Buddy Walk 2013 was a stormy one, with wild winds and rains and plenty that could have gone wrong. But thanks to an incredible amount of good will and creativity, it will go down in memory as a day of community in its truest and deepest sense

  • New monthly workshops: Stronger Together

    Looking for another educational opportunity for parents of children age birth - 5?

  • New group "Promotoras" focuses on Spanish-speaking families

    The NWDSA is excited to announce a new project to build an empowered group of Spanish-speaking parents to work as “promotoras” supporting Hispanic families in a parent-to-parent model.

Latest Action Alerts

  • Make Your Contributions Go Further

    Looking to maximize your investment in NWDSA? Please check if your company offers a corporate match program and/or an employee giving program.

  • Help get justice for Ethan Saylor

    Ethan Saylor was a 26 year old man with Down Syndrome who died in the custody of three off-duty Frederick County Deputy Sheriffs on January 12th, 2013. His family has created a petition calling for an independent investigation.

  • Stop illegal seclusion in Portland Public Schools

    We are asking schools to comply with the law requiring closure of seclusion cells in our schools.

Latest Advocacy News & Articles

  • ADA: Moving Forward

    The ADA: Moving Forward event at Portland City Hall on July 26, 2013 celebrated the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Isaac’s IEP Journey

    And there it was in black and white: General Education with Special Education Support/Selected. I breathed a sigh of relief.

  • Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort: Sign up now!

    It’s hard to believe that the transition from early childhood education to kindergarten is just around the corner!