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Empowerment Classes

Empowerment classes are offered to individuals with Down syndrome of all ages and abilities. These classes are offered on a quarterly basis and may include sign language, kitchen skills, physical therapy, art skills, music therapy, and much more. The purpose of our Empowerment Classes is to truly empower participants to learn a new skill or partake in a new activity. All of our classes have defined learning objectives and are led by certified professionals and/or experts in their field. In addition, we provide volunteers for natural support and encouragement. We want everyone to feel welcome at our programs. We will gladly work with you and/or your loved one to provide the most successful environment for learning or socializing.

Classes typically meet weekly over a 4-6 week period. In general, there is a $20 fee for an entire series of classes and registration is required. We offer financial assistance through our Community Participation Fund (click here). If you have additional questions about payment, please reach out to your Program Coordinator. We would be more than happy to assist you.


Feeding and Speech Development -Connections Between the Body and Brain

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 0 – 5 years
Dates: Mondays, April 27 – June 8 (no class on Memorial Day)
Time: 6:30 – 7:30 PM 
Location: Down Syndrome Association (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio)
Class Instructors:  Tara Koker-Noia, MS, CCC-SLP, CPI/Alison Yeggy, OTR/L, Beverly Price, OT. S.M.I.L.E.S. Integrative Therapy Services, LLC is a highly specialized pediatric therapy practice that offers cutting edge and unique speech, feeding, and occupational therapies within a highly collaborative team environment. S.M.I.L.E.S. focuses on getting to the root of issues, ensuring a stable foundation is present for guiding appropriate skill development, instead of teaching compensations and working too high above what a child's system can process.
Description: Learn how to ensure the foundational motor skills/primitive & motor reflexes/ocular-motor coordination can become fully integrated into your child's system providing a solid base for growth and development positively supporting feeding and speech progression.
Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand how the body's entire system is tied into feeding and speech development.
  2. Learn how to start the integration of retained primitive and motor reflexes.
  3. Develop skills to initiate appropriate respiratory and ocular-motor development.

*If more than 12 participants register by April 13, we will have a lottery draw. We will keep you informed as the date draws closer.

Music Therapy

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 0 – 2 years; 3 – 5 years
Dates: Thursdays, May 21 - June 25
Time: 5:30 – 6:15 PM (0 – 2 years); 6:30 – 7:15 PM (3 – 5 years)
Location: Down Syndrome Association (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio)
Class Instructor:  
Kendall Williams, MT-BC, Keys For Success, LLC. Kendall Williams was born and raised in Montgomery, AL.  She completed her Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy at Belmont University and finished her 9-month music therapy internship in pediatrics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.  She has always had a heart to work with children of varying abilities and believes in the strong power of music to improve quality of life.
Description: It's time for “Fun in the Sun” music making! Through instrument exploration, familiar and original songs, movement, and sensory exploration, we will discover the power of music to help children meet developmental milestones in communication, social skills, motor skills, and bonding.
Learning Objectives: 

  1. Work on communication and social skills by learning to receive and share instruments.
  2. Strengthen motor skills through instrument exploration including grasping, blowing, shaking, movement, etc.
  3. Bond with other peers and parents as you learn in a group setting.

*If more than 12 participants register by May 7, we will have a lottery draw. We will keep you informed as the date draws closer.

Volleyball Camp

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 6 – 12 years; 13 – 17 years
Dates: everyday (June 9 – 12)
Time: 6 – 6:50 PM (6 - 12 years); 7 – 7:50 PM (13 – 17 years)
Location: St. Margaret of York (9495 Columbia Rd, Loveland, OH 45140)
Class Instructor:  Madison Rohlfs, Madison is a Mount Notre Dame grad. She is currently a grad student at Maryville University in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program. This is her second year running the DSAGC volleyball camp.
Description: 
Together, we will learn the basics of volleyball in a fun and friendly environment. Learning to serve, bump, and set will not only provide exercise but also strengthen core muscles and motor skills.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Focus on strengthening muscle movement through basic volleyball “hits”.
  2. Learn basic rules pertaining to the game of volleyball.
  3. Exercise and have fun while socializing with peers in a team setting. 

Introduction to Golf

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 13 – 17 years; 18 & up
Dates: Tuesdays, May 26 – June 16 (ages 13 – 17) | Thursdays, May 28 – June 18 (ages 18 & up)
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 PM (13 – 17 years); 5 - 6 PM (18 & up)
Location: Winton Woods (10999 Mill Road Cincinnati, OH 45240)
Class Instructors:  Hamilton County District Golf Professionals
Description: This is an opportunity to take introductory golf lessons from Hamilton County District’s Golf Professionals. Alongside peers and under the guidance of professionals, teens and adults will learn the basics of golf while staying active out on the green!
Learning Objectives: 

  1. Learn basic golf vocabulary, terminology, and rules.
  2. Practice golf skills including chipping, putting and driving.
  3. Socialize and interact with peers while staying active.

Safety: at home, in the community, and on social media

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: Thursdays, April 2 - 16
Time: 6 – 7:30 PM
Location: Down Syndrome Association (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio)
Class Instructor:  Bri Combs, Community Connections Coordinator, Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Bri Combs has been serving as a Community Connections Coordinator for the past three and a half years. She lives in Monroe with her two dogs, has six siblings, and she has a very good friend named Brian (who has Downs syndrome). She is really excited to teach adults how to protect themselves as they become more independent, empowered and connected within their communities!
Description: The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities believes that along with helping individuals with developmental disabilities become more connected and involved in their communities, we also have the responsibility to teach them how to protect themselves and how to get help if and when they need it. Therefore, we have developed an interactive safety training series through which we teach self-awareness, self-care, safety in the home, safety in the community, internet safety, healthy relationships, and abuse prevention and response. In 2020, we are also going to be co-facilitating a sexuality training, as research has shown that individuals with developmental disabilities are the most vulnerable population when it comes to sexual abuse, and that sexual education is the most effective defense. Our goal is to have open, honest conversations about real-life scenarios to help prepare, educate, and empower those we serve to be competent, confident adults.
Learning Objectives: 

  1. Practice answering the door safely, calling 911, what to do if you get lost, working with first responders and how to find help in an emergency.
  2. Learn about self-identification cards, fire prevention, public restroom safety, expired food, severe weather, and independence through technology.
  3. Understand social media safety - protecting information, cyberbullying, privacy settings, online dating and more.

Employment Readiness

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

 

Ages: 18 and up
Dates: Tuesdays, February 18 - March 24 *register by class*
Time: 6:30 - 8 PM
Location: DSAGC Community Room, 4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45212

Class Instructors:  Calista Hargrove, MSOL, VP of Programs, Cincinnati Works. Calista is an experienced, results-oriented organizational development professional, with a record of achievement in strategic thinking and problem solving in developing and managing workforce development and post-secondary educational support services for individuals with economic disadvantages and/or disabilities.    

Individual classes are $5 (note, the Employment Networking Night is free). 

Thursday, March 3 | 6:30 – 8 PM | DSAGC Office: What does it mean to have a Job?
This class is for the adult with Down syndrome. They’ll work with professionals to discuss the importance of a job, what a job means to them, their goals, and how to tell their story!

Thursday, March 10 | 6:30 – 8 PM | DSAGC Office: Professionalism & Preparation
This class is for the adult with Down syndrome. They’ll learn skills in preparation for the workforce including professionalism, interview techniques, resume building, etc.

Thursday, March 17 | 6:30 – 8 PM | DSAGC Office: Mock Interviews 
This class is for the adult with Down syndrome. We will host mock interviews and provide valuable feedback. >> CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTION

Thursday, March 24 | 6 – 7:45 PM | DSAGC Office: Employment Networking Night
This class is for the parent/caregiver, adults with Down syndrome, community professionals, and more. We will learn more about the benefits of an inclusive workforce, hear from employees with Down syndrome and their employers, and connect with fellow professionals interested in hiring!

>> CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 PRECAUTION

Programs and Events suspended at this time due to COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated through email, social media, and our website.

 

Personal Development Classes

These classes are just one day and designed specifically for adults with Down syndrome to learn and/or practice a specific skill to foster personal growth.  These topics may include Voting, Internet Safety, Introducing Yourself, Laundry,  Using a Smart Phone, and more! This is a new initiative, so currently, we offer one Personal Development class each quarter. If well received, we hope to offer a different class each month for all ages.

To keep the price reasonable for our adults with Down syndrome, our Personal Development Classes cost $5 to attend. We offer financial assistance through our Community Participation Fund (click here). If you have additional questions about payment, please reach out to your Program Coordinator. We would be more than happy to assist you.

Preparing to Vote

This in-person class has been cancelled due to COVID-19. However, we encourage you to check out our virtual programs starting April 6. If you have already registered for a program or event, we will send specific correspondence to you via email in the coming weeks.

Ages: 18 & up
Dates: Tuesday, April 7
Time: 6:30 – 8 PM
Location: Down Syndrome Association (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, Ohio)
Class Instructor:  Essie Pederson, M.Ed, SABE goVoter Project and Diana Mairose, Advocacy Advisor, Hamilton County DD Services. Essie has 45 years of experience in the field. She’s been a special education teacher, directed a residential educational facility, served as a member of an interdisciplinary team providing training and technical assistance about disabilities to college students, professionals, family members, etc. Since 2003 she's worked with the Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) as a national advisor and staff to the GoVoter Project. Diana graduated from Maplebrook School with a post-secondary degree in 2000.She has worked in the field of DD for 14 years. She began her career working at UCP of Greater Cincinnati and then she joined HCDDS as their Advocacy Advisor. She does public speaking locally, statewide and nationally.
Description:  Are you ready to vote? We will talk about the importance of voting, being prepared to cast your ballot and practice using actual voting machines. Note, the DSAGC is a nonpartisan organization. We do not recommend, endorse or affiliate with any political party. This class will NOT discuss political topics or opinions. We will only discuss the importance of voting in general and how to properly cast a ballot.
Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand the importance of voting in elections.
  2. Practice voting using actual voting machines.
  3. Learn about your rights as a voter and how to make accommodations to vote if necessary.

Some of these resources were created by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC). If you work for an outside organization or live outside the Greater Cincinnati area, please consider making a donation so we can maintain updated resources.