Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Thursday, 02 July 2015

See The Ability Sunday

Hey Canada! We love sharing positive and uplifting messages with the Down syndrome community. What better way to get inspired than hearing from those who have had similar experiences as you? Our new #SeeTheAbilitySunday social media campaign is the perfect way to do this. We want you to participate!

Please send your responses to any of the following questions in ONE sentence to , along with a photo of yourself if you wish to have that included in your dedicated post. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For Self-Advocates:

1. What advice do you have for other people with Down syndrome?

2. What is the best advice you have received for reaching your own goals?

3. What do you want the world to know about people with Down syndrome?

For Parents:

4. What has your child with Down syndrome taught you?

5. What advice do you have for new parents of a child with Down syndrome?

For Professionals:

6. What is the best advice you have received for reaching your own goals?

Will Brewer in 'See the Ability: If you listen, you can see a lot.'

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Monday, 29 June 2015

Halifax’s Will Brewer is an exceptional Canadian. He volunteers in his community, he is part of an art collective, and he is an aspiring professional photographer. He also has Down syndrome - but it’s just a small part of who he is.

“A couple years ago, I was being interviewed, and they asked me what my disability was and I said, ‘I don’t have one - I’m Will.’”

Will is featured in the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s (CDSS) newest video series See the Ability: If you listen, you can see a lot, now available to view at www.cdss.ca. As an adult with Down syndrome, Will has devoted his life to raising awareness about issues important to adults with disabilities.

He wants Canadians and people all over the world to ‘See the Ability’.

Will aspires to one day be a politician and was recently honoured with a Mel Hebb Encore Award by Partnership for Access Awareness Nova Scotia (PAANS).

As a member of VATTA (Voices at the Table for Advocacy), CDSS’s steering committee, Will represents self-advocates (adults with Down syndrome) on the international stage. He contributes to the VATTA self-advocacy blog (cdss.ca/vatta/), speaks at national conferences, and represents CDSS at various events in Halifax.

Will’s ‘See the Ability’ video is the second of a series of three, with a fourth ten-minute documentary on VATTA titled Picture the Possibilities to be released on July 13, 2015.

Alana in 'See the Ability: If you listen, you can see a lot.'

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Monday, 22 June 2015

“People who have Down syndrome can achieve the impossible.”

Have you seen this video, featuring Alana from Edmonton? We'll be releasing two more short videos in the coming weeks and the full-length VATTA video, titled "Picture the Possibilities", on July 13!

Until then, watch Alana in 'See the Ability: If you listen, you can see a lot.'

Congratulations to the Charchuks!

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Thursday, 11 June 2015

Jackie Charchuk

Hey Canada! We'd like to give our congratulations to Jackie and George Charchuk for receiving the Community Inclusions Ltd.'s Pioneer Award.

We're proud to have the Charchuk family part of the CDSS community - Jackie sits on our Board of Directors and chairs our advocacy committee, and their daughter is former VATTA member, Janet.

Read the full article here.

Thank you, Edmonton!

Written by Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Friday, 22 May 2015

Edmonton Conference

It’s been a week since the incredible Canadian Down Syndrome Conference in Edmonton began and we’re still overwhelmed by how incredible it was! Thank you to the great people of Edmonton, our sponsors - Kevin & Diane Whyte and Family, Chemco, Details, Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, McAra Printing, and others - speakers, volunteers, attendees and friends for making it one of our best yet!

We made some wonderful memories, including:

  • The Welcome Reception, attended by a record number of people. Joey Moss, Conference Ambassador, attended and signed autographs. We also welcomed Amarjeet Sohi, Edmonton City Councillor
  • Spencer West’s Keynote address that set the tone for an incredible weekend. He made us laugh, cry, and inspired us to create the best community and culture for us and our families
  • Our exceptional speakers, including Dr. Chicoine, Dr. McGuire, Dr. Mobley, and Natalie Hale
  • The Film Festival, brought to us by our friends at Down Syndrome in Arts and Media.
  • Our Self Advocate/Teen Program, which took them to the TELUS World of Science
  • VATTA’s Red Carpet event, where everyone showed up in their best Red Carpet outfits and as their favourite characters in TV and film
  • Our Pre-Endnote presentation by Happy Soul Project’s Tara McCallan, who reminded us of the importance of truly immersing ourselves in all aspects of the disabilities community and giving back when we can
  • Celebrating Ten Years of VATTA, our endnote, which brought together VATTA members, past and present. We debuted the new VATTA film, Picture the Possibilities, which brought the audience to their feet. We also celebrated Janet Charchuk, Andreas Prinz, Ruth Joseph, and Mary Frances Brennick, the four original members of VATTA who retired this year. We're going to miss them but we know they're going to continute to inspire Canadians and people around the world with their message: 'See the Ability!'
  • The surprise presentation for our Executive Director, Kirk Crowther, celebrating his 10 years of commitment to the CDSS community
  • The fantastic party at our banquet, featuring emcees from VATTA, Will Brewer and Alana Gersky. We rocked out on the dance floor with glow sticks until midnight and had A BLAST!

What was your favourite moment? Post it on our Facebook wall or Tweet it to us! Email your pics to and we'll post them. Also check out our Facebook page - we will be posting more photos of the event soon!e

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