Human Services

Down Syndrome Association of Houston

  • Houston, TX
  • www.dsah.org

Mission Statement

The mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Houston is to provide programs and support to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who serve them, and to create awareness in the community through advocacy, education, and medical outreach. Our Vision We envision a community in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance the quality of their lives, realize their life aspirations, and be accepted as part of our very diverse society.

Main Programs

  1. Education for Life
  2. Baby Basket Program
  3. Club 21
  4. Gymboree
  5. Camp Ability
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) has been an important part of the Greater Houston community for over 40 years.  What started out as a small group that met in the basement of Texas Children's Hospital has grown into a thriving, multi-faceted program with our office located at 7115 W. Tidwell, Bldg. K, Suite 106, in Houston and more than 2,100 members from all over the Houston area.  DSAH has branched out into community groups in Baytown, Katy, North Side, Pearland, Spring, and The Woodlands, North West, Inner Loop and others are forming.

ruling year

1974

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Ms. Alejandra Lima

Keywords

Self-reported

Medical Outreach Down Syndrome Advocacy for Intellectually Disabled Educational Outreach Down Syndrome

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Also Known As

DSAH

EIN

23-7203655

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Family Services (P40)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (P01)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

DSAH has increased membership, added new training programs for parents, and expanded our adult, day program from one day a week to five days a week. We also launched Community Groups so that families in Greater Houston can network, meet, and socialize closer to their homes. We have also expanded our New Baby Gift Basket Program to more hospitals which helped us reach even more families as quickly as possible after the birth of their child with Down syndrome.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Education for Life

Education for Life (E4L) is a full-day functional-skills program for adults with Down syndrome. The mission of Education for Life is to empower adults with Down syndrome to be as self-sufficient as possible in life, work, and relationships by providing opportunities for academic, social, vocational, personal, and creative growth. This mission is addressed through instruction in the areas of basic living, community participation, home skills, academic skills, vocational skills, art, and music. Behavior modeling, instruction, and coaching are provided to address problematic behaviors that prevent and inhibit individual success and performance.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Mentally/Emotionally Disabled

Adults

Budget

$171,471.00

Program 2

Baby Basket Program

The DSAH Baby Basket program is a way for us to reach out to families who have recently welcomed a child with Down syndrome into their lives. At the request of a parent, a family member, or hospital staff, a member of our staff will hand-deliver a basket filled with current information about Down syndrome, a list of local resources, and a variety of baby supplies. Personal delivery of the basket is an important part of the program, and gives the family members an opportunity to share their feelings and concerns about the diagnosis.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Budget

$3,350.00

Program 3

Club 21

Club 21 offers monthly social events for members ages 12 to 99. Events include dances, pizza parties, bowling, trips to the movies, bingo, line-dancing classes, and the rodeo parade.

Category

Recreation & Sports

Population(s) Served

Adults

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$8,000.00

Program 4

Gymboree

DSAH partners with Gymboree Play & Music to offer free classes for children with Down syndrome and their siblings, ages 0-7. Designed by experts, the classes use play-based activities and sensory stimulation to help develop the cognitive, physical, and social skills of children as they play. Gymboree programs are recognized for their unique approach to parent involvement, which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development. Each class includes time for parent discussion to help the families learn about the development of their child with Down syndrome.

Category

Human Services

Population(s) Served

Infants/Babies (under age 5)

Mentally/Emotionally Disabled

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Budget

$3,000.00

Program 5

Camp Ability

Camp Ability is a week-long summer day camp for children/teens with Down syndrome and their siblings, ages 3-17. Camp activities include crafts, music, games, reading, writing, movement, a snack, and most of all-fun! The one-week sessions are for preschoolers (3-6 yrs), school-aged (7-12 yrs), and teens (13-17 yrs).

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Disabled, General or Disability Unspecified

Female Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Male Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)

Budget

$3,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    DSAH wants to have a positive impact on the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in order to help them develop to their full potential. We want to support families of individuals with Down syndrome through education, training, and organizing with other stakeholders who want to improve the lives and opportunities of individuals with Down syndrome.

    DSAH will improve expectations of individuals with Down syndrome in the medical community, educational system, and general population through outreach programs. Our outreach programs include our adult Pantomime Troupe, inclusion activities such as our annual pool party at the public location of Wet 'N' Wild Splashtown, medcial outreach to local medical schools, and participation in community events.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    DSAH will use our Resource Center and other locations, such as the United Way, to conduct workshops on advocacy for families regarding medical, educational, social, and community involvement to protect rights and improve expectations for loved ones with Down syndrome.

    DSAH will plan, execute, and evaluate direct programs to improve skills of individuals with Down syndrome, such as our adult Education for Life Program, Summer Day Camp Ability,

    DSAH will collaborate with other non-profits to increase opportunities and skills of individuals with Down syndrome including Camp for All, Sailing Angels, Special Olympics and Family to Family Network. We will also seek partnerships with groups whose mission is not specifically for individuals with disabilities, but rather, those who share an interest in areas and subjects of interest to our members in order to increase opportunities for inclusion. For example, DSAH can partner with the Houston Food Bank which gives our members the opportunity to work with other volunteers from the general public.

    DSAH will adhere to the highest ethical standards and best practices for professional conduct, accounting practices, stewardship of funds, and treatment of individuals with Down syndrome, their families, volunteers, other non-profit groups, business, and the general public.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    DSAH started in 1974 and has a long history of success. We are a lifespan organization, meaning that we address areas of concern from the prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, early childhood intervention, school aged, transition, and adult issues. With this lifespan perspective, we plan activities and provide information needed but with the "next stage" of life in mind in order to improve opportunities and outcomes. We are able to support new families by connecting them with families of older children with Down syndrome to hear first hand what has worked and not worked.

    DSAH is able to refer our members to other nonprofits who may be able to meet a specific need, such as the Arc of Greater Houston or Family to Family Network. If our staff and volunteers cannot answer a question or concern, we are well connected to others who can help the family. Our Community Groups in different parts of Greater Houston provide ideas for resources near the family home.

    Since our Board of Directors is committed to outstanding leadership and best practices, they are able to make decisions, plan for fiscal sustainability and growth, and to better the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. The Board thoughtfully prioritizes our efforts to train parents, perform outreach, and conduct direct programs in a way to maximize impact with wise use of our funds. We are expanding our Development efforts by diversifying revenue streams and going to Community Groups and members for their input related to their location, age groups, and networks.

    DSAH is following the latest national trends to include self-advocates in planning, participating, and evaluating our activities in order to be relevant to what is important now. We are also revamping our volunteer program to increase retention, numbers, and match interest of the volunteer to particular activities.

  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    DSAH tracts the number of New Baby Gift Baskets, hospitals visited, programs, and participation in events as one indication of the status and demand of a program. We also provide evaluation forms after programs and workshops. Staff and key volunteers review the evaluations to continue what is working and changing what is not working.

    Staff and key volunteers are interviewed, as well as families whose children with Down syndrome are at different stages and ages of life. Self-advocates respond to questions about what is their favorite activities and suggestions for the future.

    One example of using these progress indicators is the Education for Life adult day programs. Several families can forward to discuss their future need for activities after high school. With their input, DSAH developed the program and continued to respond to their needs by expanding from one day a week to five days.

    DSAH is developing a new strategic plan which will include goals, strategies, and indicators for the future of DSAH.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    We have accomplished serving families with children and adult children of all ages. We have referral resources and direct programs to address current needs.

    We expanded from serving less than 100 members to over 2000 members today.

    We have not yet fully diversified our revenue streams which will include a monthly giving program. We also want to collaborate more with the State of Texas HHS programs.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Texas

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) has been an important part of the Greater Houston community for over 40 years.  What started out as a small group that met in the basement of Texas Children's Hospital has grown into a thriving, multi-faceted program with our office located at 7115 W. Tidwell, Bldg. K, Suite 106, in Houston and more than 2,100 members from all over the Houston area.  DSAH has branched out into community groups in Baytown, Katy, North Side, Pearland, Spring, and The Woodlands, North West, Inner Loop and others are forming.

Social Media

Funding Needs

The DSAH is funded by generous donations from our supporters via specific events such as the Buddy Walk or by general monetary donations.  The needs for funding for our programs are very high since we are committed to help our members live fulfilling and enriched lives. We receive no government funding.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

DOWN SYNDROME ASSOC OF HOUSTON, INC
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Aug 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Down Syndrome Association of Houston

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Alejandra Lima

BIO

Her professional background and education are in Media Communications. She had previously worked in radio Marketing Promotions for over a decade with the Hispanic media giant, Univision Communications. She is the mother of a very active young man, Joshua, a 9-year old Cub Scout, growing athlete, and the #1 superhero fan that keeps her on her toes!


Alejandra became involved with the DSAH as the volunteer public relations member of the board of directors soon after Joshua was born with Down syndrome. When the executive director position became available at DSAH, she assumed the challenge with zealous passion! Her tireless participation and professional background have allowed her to enhance the organization's operations, as well as prepared her to be a great leader for the group. Since she has first-hand experience as the parent of a child with Down syndrome, she is able to empathize with new parents seamlessly.


Alejandra Lima has been recognized by the Latino American Who's Who publication as a young professional to look out for - she's on the move with big strides, particularly as an advocate for Down syndrome."

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"The Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) has been part of the Greater Houston community for 40 years. What started out as a small group that met in the basement of Texas Children’s Hospital has grown into a thriving, multi-faceted organization with more than 1,800 members from all over the Houston area. As DSAH has grown, we have developed programs for all age groups, ranging from prenatal counseling to a full-time functional-skills day program for adults with Down syndrome. We are a life-span organization, dedicated to providing support to our members through all stages of life. We strive to help our families understand and navigate the complex network of public and private resources, and to create programs where needed to fill the gaps in those resources. We look for ways to expand the availability of opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome in all areas of life, including physical and emotional wellness, education, social enrichment, career development, and living options. We advocate for acceptance and inclusion in the Greater Houston community and beyond. Our organization values integrity, transparency, diversity, and excellence in everything we do."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Ann Fontenot

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?