Legislative Advocacy

Down Syndrome Innovations seeks to partner with local, regional, state and federal governing bodies to ensure our members' rights and opportunities are protected, preserved or pro-actively developed in instances where they don’t already exist.

Our legislative agenda spans the life experience of individuals with Down syndrome from birth through adulthood. We are passionate about ensuring our members have access to quality education, health care, housing, employment, financial independence, and community opportunities.

Our legislative priorities are developed in response to current legislation being proposed and through ongoing conversations with self-advocates, families, and other disability organizations. We are committed to being proactive in ensuring the rights of people with Down syndrome are protected and celebrated. Our legislative priorities include, but are not limited to:

RESEARCH AND HEALTHCARE

Down Syndrome Innovations supports strong legislation which will improve the health and quality of life for people with Down syndrome. We are driven by our desire to achieve positive health outcomes, increasing access to quality care and developing new therapies and treatments through research.

EDUCATION

Down Syndrome Innovations actively engages with educational institutions and we serve as an expert guide to helping ensure they are successful in educating and including all students with Down syndrome. We support education laws and policies that uphold the rights of students with Down syndrome to receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive setting. We also pursue legislation that will promote inclusive opportunities and reduce the potential for abuse or neglect happening in an educational setting.

COMMUNITY ACCESS AND INTEGRATION

Down Syndrome Innovations believes all people with Down syndrome should be active and engaged members who are valued by their communities. We will advocate for laws and policies that enable people with Down syndrome to experience full access to participation in their communities without discrimination.

EMPLOYMENT

Down Syndrome Innovations supports legislation which fosters, embraces and sustains meaningful, integrated employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome. A large majority of our members with Down syndrome are underemployed or unemployed and we are on a mission to change that.

INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-SUFFICIENCY

People with Down syndrome may experience challenges related to voting, financial stability, legal, representation, affordable housing, proper staffing supports or accessing their communities and public transportation. Down Syndrome Innovations will advocate for legislation which protects, preserves and promotes autonomy and self-sufficiency for our members and enhances their opportunities to be independent.

ADVOCACY GOALS

Provide self-advocates with opportunities to engage with legislators at all levels. Have self-advocates accompany our staff to in person meetings with legislators or provide in person or written testimony on how legislation affects their lives. Encourage self-advocate participation in both KS and MO Disability Day at the Capitol.

Develop curriculum and host annual advocacy training for our members to help them understand the legislative process, importance of building relationships with legislators and how to engage and effect change.

Create template for action alerts which can be forwarded to membership with critical and timely information on legislation being proposed or amended.

Work collaboratively with other disability organizations and sign on to letters regarding legislation that will affect our members. Bring self-advocates and families to Disability Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Topeka and Washington DC.

Meet with KS and MO Down syndrome organization leaders bi-annually or as needed to ensure clear and cohesive communication with legislators regarding bills that impact those we serve. Organize members to offer testimony, impact statements and personal stories regarding legislation and contact the media when warranted to seek additional support and to amplify our message to the public.

Contact Us

Contact us if you have questions or concerns about existing or proposed legislation.