History of NADS
Until recently, NADS maintained a Resource Library at the Adult Down Syndrome Center, which contained hundreds of books, audiotapes, DVDs and videos related to Down syndrome. The materials were available for loan to NADS members, patients of the Adult Down Syndrome Center and their families or caregivers, but due to space constraints and administrative challenges, NADS made the decision to discontinue the lending service, and the materials from the library are currently being distributed to local communities.
Because there was so much inaccurate information about Down syndrome throughout the years, NADS has produced materials to correct these inaccuracies and myths. Our materials highlight the value, gifts and contributions that children and adults with Down syndrome bring to their families and to the broader community.
In 1990 NADS published a booklet for new parents, “A Baby First.” Parents and parent organizations throughout the country and also in other countries have used this beautiful 12-page booklet, which they give to their new parents. It was the first 4-color booklet published in the U.S on Down syndrome. NADS also developed a “Special Delivery Folder” which is given to new parents as part of our new parent packet.
We also developed a series of beautiful posters with a theme of “Don’t Be Surprised.” There were seven posters in this series, and they were displayed all over the country and in Canada as well. Staying with the “Don’t Be Surprised” theme, we also developed a total of 21 bookmarks that were used to highlight the gifts and talents of children and adults with Down syndrome.
NADS developed several Audio/visual programs:
- You Don’t Outgrow Down Syndrome
- New Expectations for Down Syndrome
- A Friend Like You
- Don’t Be Surprised
- Talents That Inspire
The NADS website was developed by NADS board member, Bill McCarthy, in 1996. It provides general information about Down syndrome as well as listings of NADS programs and numerous Down syndrome resources. The website was redesigned in 2003 by Kurt Metzler who has continued to be our webmaster since then. A very active feature for several years was the Discussion Forum, which provided a supportive environment where people in the Down syndrome community found information and shared their children’s accomplishments and asked for support during challenging times. Parents often helped each other by addressing questions or by posting useful resources they had discovered. Initially this forum met a significant need and generated a lot of energy, and while it is still used by some people, with the development of the Blogosphere and Facebook, more and more parents are communicating more directly with a variety of people. Other social networking sites allow parents to share information much more easily than was possible in the past. NADS is also on Facebook, which is another way that we are helping to keep people connected and up-to-date.
The website continues to be a great vehicle for NADS to communicate with our members and the broader community on a variety of issues and events.
In 2000 NADS started a list serve e-mail alert system and members were notified of legislative alerts and events of interest to the Down syndrome community.