Advocacy

DSAMT promotes awareness, acceptance and inclusion of those with Down syndrome. Our advocacy work on behalf of and with individuals with Down syndrome and their families focuses on families in Middle Tennessee but also extends to the State and National Level.

Our Stories

Our Stories is a program that empowers our members to effectively share their stories, to inspire sensitivity and understanding towards individuals with disabilities and result in dynamic change at the system level. By educating our members on why telling their stories is import, dispelling myths about advocacy, helping them craft and tell their stories, and finally, sharing those stories, we are able to begin to reach this goal.

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Advocate Parent Mentors

DSAMT's Advocate Parent Mentors assist other families of children with Down syndrome navigate the educational system and advocate for the educational rights of their children.  All Advocate Parent Mentors have completed a six-week training program led by our Director of Policy & Advocacy, Erin Richardson.  

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Legislative Advocacy

DSAMT advocates at the local, state and national levels on issues that impact individuals with Down syndrome and their families.  This includes educating DSAMT members about important legislative issues; regularly communicating with our legislators; helping our families share their stories with lawmakers to help affect change; participating in TN’s Disability Day on the Hill; and educating our self-advocates in the legislative advocacy process.  

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Down Syndrome Policy Network of TN

DSPNTN is a collaboration of individuals from across the state who passionately advocate for people with Down syndrome and their families.  This grassroots organization advocates for state and local policies that enable individuals with Down syndrome to enjoy all the rights, privileges, and opportunities available to other Tennessee residents.

If you are interested in more information about the Down Syndrome Policy Network of TN email Alecia Talbott at Alecia@somethingextra.org

Community Advocacy

Educating the community about the extraordinary gifts those with Down syndrome bring to our lives helps build awareness in our community.  DSAMT staff and self-advocates are frequently engaged to speak publically about Down syndrome, disabilities, inclusion or other topics that bring to light needed community supports or changes in culture.  

Complete the form at the bottom of this page to request a speaker.

School Advocacy

DSAMT staff and parent mentors help families with school-aged children by answering questions, providing resources, support and trainings and empowering parents to be better advocates.  It is our vision that all students with Down syndrome have the supports needed to maximize their true potential, and we are here to help.  

Additional information about education

Education advocacy request form

Parent Mentor Advocate Training & Program